Discovered in prehistoric times by nomads of Asia, felting consists in the entanglement of wool fibres using a thermal shock and a mechanical action.
In prehistoric times
The felting of wool has existed since the Neolithic period, between 6000 and 7000 BC. In those days the nomads of Mongolia used felted wool, and still use it today, to make yurts, rugs, clothes… because of the resistance, the flexibility, the thermal insulation and impermeability of this fabric.
Felting with warm, soapy water
Felting consists in entangling the wool fibres, whether they originate from sheep, merino often, goats, alpacas, camels… The carded wool, washed and worsted, is arranged, in whichever way the artist desires: flat or with volume. This material is then humidified with hot, soapy water. The thermal shock helps to open up the woollen fibres, which allows them to catch onto each other. The soap used facilitates the penetration of the water in the material and the sliding between the fibres. This slow process creates an unwoven wool texile, the layout of the fibres having no order opposed to weaving and knitting spun wool.