Felting is a fun craft that is growing in popularity with people of all ages. With the large variety of techniques available, felting is a great way to make fabric for a multitude of crafts, from bags and hats to children's crafts. Felting can be done one of two ways, through wet felting or needle felting. Rolling machines use wet felting techniques combined with mechanical vibrations to cause fibres to felt. Use a rolling machine to make large sheets of felt for bigger projects or just to have on hand.
Lay out the felting mat on a large table. Lay out yarn bits, if desired, to create novelty felt with a three-dimensional look.
Tear off bits of wool fibre and lay them out so that all edges are touching, covering most of the mat. You can use dyed fibres in several colours if desired. Try to evenly cover the felting mat to prevent holes and thin spots in the felt.
Drizzle the fibres with mild dish soap and water so that they are thoroughly wet, but not sopping.
Carefully roll up the felting mat and secure it with rubber bands on the ends.
Place the rolled mat in the rolling machine, and adjust the pressure if necessary. Turn on the machine and allow it to cycle for about 15 minutes.
Remove the rolled mat and unroll it on the table. Remove the felt sheet from the roll and check the texture. If you are happy with the texture, let it dry and use it for your favourite felt craft. If it is too soft, roll it up in the mat again and allow it to cycle for more time.
If you end up with thin spots or holes in your felt, you can needle felt more wool to them to make them more even with the rest of the felt. You can use any natural fibre to felt with, such as alpaca, angora or merino.