If you are using batting, simply tear off the amount of wool you wish to use for your project. The wool fibers in roving however, are more aligned and can be somewhat long depending on the type of wool from which it is made. Therefore, when you try to simply pull off a section of the roving, it may put up some resistance. But fear not! There is a simple trick:
Measure the length of roving you wish to use.
Then, with your hands 3” – 4” apart, firmly grasp the roving so that the point you’ll be tearing from is in the center.
Holding onto the wool, slowly pull your hands apart, allowing the fibers of the roving to gently separate.
Wondering about the difference between batting and roving? Here is a brief breakdown of these two types of wool with emphasis on their uses for needle felting:
Batting (also known as batts or fleece) and roving have both been pulled through carding machines which comb and align the fibers to some degree. But with batting, the wool comes off the machine in thin sheets which are layered to form thicker fluffy sheets. The layering results in a textured wool where the fibers are no longer aligned, making it perfect for needle felting as it felts up very quickly. Roving, on the other hand, is processed one step further and pulled off the machine in ropes where the fibers are mostly aligned. Though the fibers are more aligned, this form of wool still retains the wool’s natural crimp, making it another excellent choice for needle felting.