I know this thread is a few months old now but I just had to say from a fellow needle felter, I think it is great that these very cute bears have inspired so many people to look into what exactly Needle Felting really is all about and wanting to try there hand at it!
Wow! Just wow. Would prefelts give the same effect? I'm assuming you would still have to needle in some wool on top of the prefelt after wet felted in order to get the color blend effect that you have in yours. I would have been terrified to wet felt the piece after needling it for that long!