THE FABULOUS FELT-O-MATIC
I designed and made the first Felt-o-Matic in 2002 for my own use. I had been using felting needles in conjunction with the wet felting process for a couple of years but because my work was becoming larger in scale, I needed a more efficient method of needling than hand held needles. To my delight, my invention worked "fabulously"!
In the summer of 2005, a friend asked if I would make one for her. Then, another friend suggested I take it to the bazaar at The Felters Fling and take orders. The Fling was only two weeks away so I madly made a couple of new samples. (While my original "felto" worked great, it wasn't particularly lovely to look at!) The public debut of the Felt-o-Matic was a tremendous success and several weeks later quite a few other feltmakers had one of their own.
Over the past two years, I have made many more Felt-o-Matics. They have found homes in feltmaking studios all over the US as well as in Canada, England, Denmark and Norway.
Essentially, the Felt-o-Matic is a small, hand operated version of the huge commercial needle looms which produce all sorts of needled, non-woven fabrics including the needled prefelt you can buy today.
Many felters have recently discovered that using needled prefelt as a start then going on to wet felting helps speed up the wet felting process as well as giving the felter more control. That is basically what I've been doing for the past 5 or 6 years - long before pre-made needle prefelt was available - and is the reason I designed the Felt-o-Matic. Of course by using the Fabulous Felt-o-Matic, you can quickly make your own needled prefelt which can be any size, any color, shape, thickness, wool type, fiber blend etc. you want!!!
Find a bit more information at: http://felt-o-matic.blogspot.com/
If you are interested in having one, please send an email to : firstname.lastname@example.org