If you are interested in historical felts, you often have to make quite an effort to get a close look at them. For serious researchers, the Study Collection Centre of the Horniman Museum in London offers this opportunity. The collection includes felts collected by Mary E. Burkett which are described in her book “The Art of the Feltmaker”.
In preparation for this visit, I looked at felt objects from various countries in the online catalogue. Were these objects described as “felt” items that we, with our feltmaker’s eyes, would call felt? Or were these objects made from woven cloth or knitted wool and then fulled? This raises a fundamental question: What is felt?
The staff of S.C.C had prepared a beautiful and varied presentation for us with felt rugs from several countries and made using a variety of techniques. In addition, splendid clothing made of fulled wool fabrics with elaborate embroidery were displayed for the visitors.
Very best thanks to all who made this interesting visit possible.
Johanna Rösti, IFA Chairperson, edited by Fiona Kerlogue
Copyright for all photographs belongs to the Horniman Museum and Gardens.