My daughter is a big fan of Llamas. As a result one of my first attempts at needle felting involved a Llama. That poor sad llama had two main things going against it, The first being a serious difficulty standing, and the second being that our cat loved the llama as much as my daughter. The cat literally loved the llama to peices. While the llama could be refelted back together again, it seemed that the standing issue became more of an issue with each repair. It was clear that this poor llama needed a better support system. Needle felted sculptures are held together in one of three ways the I know of. They are just felted together and built up, this results in a solid dense sculpture. They can be sewn together, I have seen this used mostly in doll type creations. Another way they are built is over an armature. The armature can be most anything, but the most common I have seen are fabric, paper and wire. I think of wet felted wool as a fabric, I know of some who argue that it is, and others who argue that it is not.
The Llama and sheep bases shown in this picture are created out of pipe cleaners also known as chenille stems. They are then wrapped with the fiber you are going to felt. These have been wrapper and have had just enough felting to hold the fiber in place. Different animals can be created by altering the basic shape to match that of the animal you are trying to create.
Tomorrow, I will take pictures of the finishing process as I work through it.