"Filzen: Alte Tradition, Modernes Handwerk" (German version)
"Felt: New Directions for an Ancient Craft" (English version)
by Gunilla Paetau Sjöberg
This might be the best book about wet felting I have. And I do have many
It’s over 20 years old, it doesn’t have amazing photos and it has a lot of text. So, it might not be the first book to grab your attention when you look at my bookshelf.
I have it in German, but there’s also an English version.
So then, what makes it so special?
I think it’s the most complete wet felting book I’ve ever seen. I could call it a felting encyclopedia.
Let’s have a look inside, so that you can see what I mean.
It starts with an incredibly complete History of felt and it covers different felting traditions found in Europe and Asia: from hat making in Hungary and shepherd coats in Turkey, to the felt masks worn by the Vikings, and socks and shoes made in Sweden, Norway, and Finland.
It then dives into felting...
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...
As you know, wet felting has a long History. But it’s also true that some of the most incredible advancements only happened in the last decades.
After wet felting was rediscovered as a promising material for designers sometime in the 80s, people of all backgrounds have picked it up and reshaped it with fresh ideas.
We’re all incredibly lucky that some amazing creatives have explored this ancient technique and given it their own touch, adding other materials to wool, and fusing other textile techniques with felt.
I think we shouldn’t take this for granted, so I’m always interested in discovering who are the artists responsible for this rich world we now have at our fingertips.
One of these amazing artists is Polly Stirling. You might not know who she is. But I’m sure you know the technique she created. Polly is none other than the inventor of nuno felting.
Need I say anything else?
If you are interested in knowing how it all happened, here’s a...