Ancient Turkish Tradition

The traditional Turkish craft of felt making emerged during the long reign of the Ottoman Empire starting in 1299. It was taught during workshops regulated by special guilds.

During this period, felt was used by the masses, the mystical Sufis and army troops for various purposes: clothing, footwear, hats, turbans, floor coverings and to pad horse saddles and harnesses.

Inspired by Persian designs, the motifs, colours and patterns of felted textiles varied from region to region. Common themes included floral and geometric shapes, symbols, inscriptions and figurative shapes.

Since the 1960s, this exquisite craft has been slowly dying out – thanks to the introduction of electric carding and pressing machines and mass-produced factory-woven carpets.

Atelier Zuhal is honoured to help keep the ancient art of Turkish felt making alive, albeit with a contemporary flavour.

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