Few days ago, while I was stalking (still stalking!) Felt Alive's needle felting supplies webpage, I came across some very valuable information regarding the type of wool used and the type of needles. I even have one of the Felt Alive's needle felting supplies page open when I open up Mozilla. That's how much I love being there.
I have to find it the hard and expensive way. I bought lots and lots of beautiful and colourful Merino top/roving only to find out that it is very difficult and time-consuming to needlefelt, especially when it comes to sculptural, 3D projects.
Roving is combed one direction like straight hair, that's why it's quite difficult to felt as it is not a messy ball of wool like batt/batting. If you're really just after flat needle felting project, in my opinion, the merino wool tops/roving/sliver is ok. The wool batting is more for sculptural, 3D projects. It took me hours and hours to needle felt an egg using merino wool. I'm hoping the core wool batting will take me less than an hour to make one egg! I've also tried using the Clover tool with 5 needles to needle felt an egg. It also took a few hours.
It is indeed true (according to Felt Alive's guide) that it is very difficult to find the suitable supplies and tools for needle felting. We unfortunately cannot just walk in to craft stores here to find the wool batting and inexpensive needle felting tools. From what I've experienced, wool roving is pretty much the only wool I can find at such stores and online. I have not personally walked into a fibre store so I'm not too sure about their stock. I've scoured through the Australian websites/stores for wool batting but can't seem to find a whole lot of them. If I did find some, their prices are almost twice more expensive than overseas supplies. Apparently some needle felters use quilt wool batting for needle felting their core projects. I've never tried them but may give it a go if I do find some. It is unfortunate that I (and possibly a few other crafters or even more) have to source supplies and tools from overseas just because it's cheaper, although slower.
Without further ado, here's the link to Felt Alive's guide to Needlefelting and supplies.
Felt Alive needle felting supplies also features Dream Felt needle felting wool. They are based in Alaska so overseas eager needle felters, shipping can take a while longer to get to you. I still haven't gotten mine and can't wait (getting antsy!!) but I'm super excited to just wait for them to arrive at my doorstep!! *Fingers crossed* I get them next week!
I do not represent Felt Alive and even if I have not received my 4 orders from them yet, I'd highly recommend them for needle felting supplies. Kay Petal (owner and founder of Felt Alive) and Patti McAleenan (owner of Dream Felt needle felting supplies with husband, John) are rare cancer survivors who share the love of needle felting and work together to bring the world needle felting supplies! You can read about them here.
Please feel free to correct me or comment with any helpful tips or where to get wool batting (at decent prices!!).
Happy needle felting!!