Wet felting History: an ancient legacy that was almost lost?

Jul 16, 2023

As you probably know, felting has a rich history spanning thousands of years and it can be traced back to Central Asia, where nomadic tribes first discovered the properties of wool and its transformation into felt. It’s been part of civilization, and it had a huge role in various cultures around the world.

Felt’s incredible properties, like temperature insulation and resistance to water, made it such a useful material that it was relied on for survival. It was used to create garments, shoes, hats, dwellings, rugs, and even artwork.

But even though felt making has experienced a growth in popularity in recent years, it was nearly forgotten for a long time, and considered an old-fashioned technique, much like what happened with crochet, knitting and other handmade textiles.

Thankfully, it was kept alive through the decades by the passionate artisans, who were stubborn enough to hold on to the legacy and traditions. These are the people we have to thank for having kept the flame burning.

As a way to pay tribute to them, I wanted to share this video with you. It’s a felt rug making demonstration by a fifth generation Iranian felter. One of the last felters still working in Iran.

I suggest you closely watch:

  • How he prepares the wool for the design.
  • The way he takes measurements to create the design.
  • How he lays out the design.
  • How he uses the same methods as we do. Just in ANOTHER SCALE: laying out the wool, wetting, rolling (OMG, the rolling! Be sure to watch the rolling!!!), fulling the edges, shaving and burning the excess fiber.


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