Looking for facts on the origins of felt making, one can find a lot of interesting information about Mongolia. This is the country where traditional felting techniques are still in use. An example of this are especially Mongolian yurts. But how did it start? One of the attempts to explain this is particularly interesting.
It is said that ancient Mongols used sheep skins as saddles. During the ride, the sheep fleece was subjected to friction, heat and moisture. As a result, the wool was being felted into a kind of solid sheet.
If you look at it closely, it turns out that there are indeed felted saddles originating from different cultures which have survived to our times. For me personally, it is a bit surprising as I can not imagine anyone sitting on one of my felted scarves. This, however, shows the evolution of felt. Being initially a very useful material, even a technical one, it gained a decorative and artistic role over time.
Mongols, who call themselves the Felt Nation, produce felt in the traditional way to this day. They use it to make clothes and accessories, but most importantly, Mongolian yurts can still be seen on the local steppes.
Below you can see how to make felt in the traditional way and how to build a yurt.