I recently tested needle felting with Hamanaka acrylic fiber from Japan. The acrylic fiber is recommended for making cleansing scrubs and after a few projects, I find it much easier to work with than wool. Although still a long process, it does take less time for the shapes to form and less fuzzy than wool in the finished product.
When put to a wash test, it held up really well. You might find strings of fiber coming off the surface after some washes but rubbing it with warm soapy water will push the fiber back in. If not, use a scissor to trim off the loose strings.
A life observer and maker passionate about inspiring you to live out your creative self.