There are several different types of machines that perform felting functions, thus decreasing the labor and time needed for felting by hand. Needle felting machines for home use look like a standard sewing machine but do not use thread. Most major sewing machine companies now make a needle felting machine. There is also a larger felt loom needle felting machine now available that can make large pieces of felt in widths up to 66 inches. This machine is a small version of the industrial needle felting loom or machine. Other types of machines that perform felting are rolling machines which are used for felting and fulling wet felted pieces that have been laid out and wet down.
The pieces that are shown here were felted on a home needle felting machine. The home machines hold from 5 up to 12 or more felting needles. The more needles in the machine, the more quickly a larger needle felted piece can be created. Needle felting machines are great tools especially for larger two-dimensional pieces like wool paintings. They are also an excellent tool for repairing thin spots or holes in a wet felted piece.
If you are considering purchasing a home needle felting machine, I would suggest talking to your local sewing machine dealers. Compare what is available in your own community for price and features. If you buy your machine locally, you will be able to purchase replacement parts and get any service required more readily.
Some things to consider other than price when deciding on a machine is whether or not the machine has an interchangeable needle head, the speed of the motor, whether an extension table is available for the machine, the number of needles the needle head will hold and whether or not there is a yarn or ribbon guide. The most important consideration is the interchangeable needle head. If the needles cannot be replaced individually, the entire needle head needs to be replaced after needles are broken. This becomes quite expensive as it isn’t unusual for needles to break especially when you first begin.
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