Felt is the oldest fabric in the world! It is believed to have been discovered when sheepherders found matted wool in their fields. Sheep originally shed their hair and this gene was bred out to enable their fleece to be sheared and felted into yurts, bedding and clothing.
Felt is created from wool with three techniques: Wet felting, nuno felting and needle felting.
The wet felting process begins by pulling wisps of wool fibers and layering. With hot water, soap, agitation and compression, the microscopic scales on the fibers entangle and permanently interlock, creating felt fabric. Resists are waterproof inserts used in the felting process that create pockets. I wrote a post on my blog about how to make a bowl and how to blend colors and embellish. Another post is about how to make a bowl with an irregular resist.
Needle felting is done with the use of super sharp needles in different sizes with different purposes. Some are for coarse deep felting and others are for finishing.
Shibori felting is a technique of manipulating nuno felted wool into shapes. Buttons or marbles are tied into the fabric during the felting process, then cuts are made and the buttons or marbles are removed, created openings, usually of another complementary color.