Let’s just start by saying my DH is a keeper. I saw this machine:
on sale for less than a$200 just before Christmas. DH was with me at the time and heard my “Gasp” I’d not seen a felting/embellisher machine for that low of a price. I should back up. When Embellisher’s first came out the suggested retail was $1499 USD. I was intrigued, but not enough to spend $1500. I’ve since seen several presentations on TV and a few You-Tubes. While I was curious, I wondered how much I’d really use the machine. Would it be worth $1499 to me? Later I saw that the Babylock was actually selling for about $799.00. A nice reduction but still, would I use it more than once or twice? As time went along, prices continued to drop. I was seriously considering the Janome at $499 and had first seen the Simplicity advertised for $399. Let’s be honest, Simplicity is not known for selling high end machines. I’ve even had a Simplicity Serger which died after 5 years requiring an emergency replacement. I wondered if $100 was enough of a savings to offset what was sure to be a short-lived machine. At 2012 Christmas price, I wanted it….. and DH says “why didn’t you buy it already?”. So the felter came home and was put under the tree.
DH is the cook in our house, so I had a large block of time to spend on testing what Simplicity calls, the Deluxe 12-Needle Felting Machine.
I cut a few rectangles of fabric about 9 by 10 inches to use as a base. I have both a cotton home dec fabric, a nylon organza and a cotton knit fabric for my base. I cut a variety of yarns and swatches of different fabric types to be punched into the base.
This is a light weight silk punched into the nylon organza
The front side, above, has a nice crinkly surface. Stiff, but visually interesting. The back side
produced lots of loops and is soft as a terry cloth. The underlying nylon organza is still stiff. The cotton knit punched with a silk crepe produced similar results on both sides.
Except that both are much softer and the top side developed holes.
My tests of roving, silk yarn and wool boucle consumed most of my time
I found that shaping as you are punching is not an exact science. It works, barely. If a specific shape is desired/needed, it would be best to felt and then cut the shape from felt, or cut a shape and felt lightly to the base.
I’m not sure what I was expecting. I was surprised at how much texture was added with very little effort.