Existing felt rolling machines typically include three rollers held in a triangular shape, two at the bottom and one at the top. The felt is rolled in a bundle, placed within the triangular shape. Then the top roller is screwed down to hold the felting in place.
Firstly, this is burdensome and time consuming since the top roller must be screwed up and down each time that the artisan is to check on the progress of the felting.
At least one of these rollers is driven by a motor and the felting rotates in one direction under the pressure created by the screwed down roller. Unfortunately, pressure doesn't create felt.
Additionally, the one-way rotation under pressure creates an unsafe situation where fingers, hair or clothing can become entangled in the roller with consequent unpleasant results. Some makers overcome this problem with complex safety guards which then hinder you from seeing the rolling action. Additionally the rolled material can easily skew one way or the other requiring constant manual intervention of the screw down clamps to even out the pressure on the felt bundle.
The Gentle Roller overcomes this problem with its unique and patented drive system.
The wool (and fabric) pre-felt is wrapped around the specially constructed drive roller. The drive roller (grey in picture) sits between two or three idle rollers (red in picture). The Gentle Roller then oscillates in a cyclical forward and then reverse direction, replicating hand rolling.
The idle rollers are only under the force of gravity, so there is no need for screw down clamps, and they are located in a way that optimizes the loading on your felt. Without screw down clamps, the idle rollers simply move out of the way if stray fingers enter the rolling material. And with its unique oscillating motion, anything drawn toward the roller in one motion, is pushed away in the next.
The Gentle Roller felt rolling machine is so safe you can actually remove, replace or adjust the idle rollers while the machine is in motion.
As a safety back up, if something still manages to get stuck in the rollers, a safety cut-out on the computer board will automatically cut the power bringing the machine to an immediate stop with no damage to the Gentle Roller or the computer control system.