There are several processes that use the term “felting.” Whichever method you prefer, it is wonderfully magic and lots of fun.
Wet Felting begins with loose fibers, like a spinner would spin yarn from. By creating thin layers of fiber and adding soap and water and lots of elbow grease felters create a dense fabric without weaving or knitting.
Needle Felting produces dense solid forms by repeatedly poking loose fiber with a specialized “felting needle,” a very sharp needle with re-curved barbs on the shaft. The fibers are integrated when the top fibers are poked down and the bottom fibers brought up with the barbs.
The finished product that has been created through Fulled Knitting looks very similar to wet felting. The object is first knitted then “fulled”, or shrunk, generally in a washing machine.