Even if there is no certain answer about when and where it started to be
made, felt is the first textile material man first discovered. Felting, one of the characteristics
of woolen fibre, occurs when epithelial cells on the fibres open and make a
complicated structure by holding each other due to the effect of heat and moisture.
Felt, used by the nomadic people in the Central Asia, where the climatic conditions
were extreme, came to Anatolia with the migration of Turks. When the Ottoman
Empire formed a settled life style, the production of felt, one of the most important
factors of moves and alights life, became less day by day and so its usage as a tent
Along with the Industrial Revolution, production in textile got faster: one of the textile
material affected by this period is of course felt. Economical problems faced after
the World War II made the search for raw materials fast, and with the beginning of
the man-made fibres a new period in textile industry began. Nonvowens, having
appeared after new materials and the combination of different techniques, make the
need for felt become less.
In modern life, it is nearly impossible for felt, having had a various usage from a rug
or carpet to tent, from a helmet to a swaddling clothes, to be regarded as a handicraft
in traditional crafts. In this concept, it can be said that felt, an important part of nomadic
culture, must change its identity to exist in this world. Now, felt, excluded in
its most usage areas, takes its place as an art object with its characteristic of forming
and staying in this obtained form and its ability to be used with different materials.
It isn’t enough to explain this transformation because of its rarely usage. However, it
can be said that its taking place in modern art as a new expression field starts when it
gets out of the borders of traditional handicrafts.
With felt, continuing its existence as an esthetic and a functional value by getting out
of its traditional usage, artists sometimes create works considered in fibre art limits
by going away from traditional production techniques. Artists, having taken felt’s
artistic expression power as a plastic material into their works, have also used felt
as a strong expression means in their conceptual works. The aim in this study is to
establish the condition of felt in Anatolia in modern art.