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Juraj Zajonc: The different looks of felt

A series of articles about the metamorphosis of fibre, which will be published in coming issues, is devoted to various textile techniques where the author starts with processing wool to felt. A specificity of felting is the direct use of animal hair, omitting the stage of processing to yarn. Some experts regard this to be the oldest textile technique, preceding both spinning and weaving. The origin of felting can be found in the early history of nomad herders in Eurasia, who made carpets, covers, pillows, sheets and various parts of clothing from a single piece without stitching. The processing of wool by felting can also be found in traditional textile techniques in Slovakia. A large amount of data about felting is connected with hat making, whose development was tightly connected with the development of breeding sheep (15th and 16th centuries). The method of processing the wool is generally identical to the method of felting in Asia; however, Slovak hat makers were using more advanced tools or techniques in some phases. Felting has also been used for making shoes and the modification of woven textiles. Currently, felting appears in a range of techniques by textile artists (Czechoslovak patent art-protis, arttex technique).




Further articles in the magazine Craft, Art, Design 01/2002:


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