Advanced Felt Making

Felt rug making with the experts

I had always wanted to make my very own rug. So when I heard about a felt rug making course to be held in Turkey, I was really interested. I also discovered that there was funding available so I quickly got down to some serious research. I wanted to make sure that my application was strong. My research included a visit the V&A in London where I  was shown 10 very special pieces of felt from their vaults right at the back of the museum. I was excited to see those felts, and even more excited when I discovered that my application was successful.

A month later I was travelling to Turkey. I was booked on 5-day, intensive felt rug making course to learn the traditional Turkish methods - techniques that have been passed down for generations. 

The course was run by Mehmet Girgic, a master felt-maker who learnt his skills from his father. Mehmet is internationally known for his felt rug making business and travels worldwide teaching his craft. He owns a large shop and showroom on the high street in Konya.


The information below is just a little taster of my experience whilst learning the amazing skills on this course. 
If you would like to hear the full story, then you may like to book me to give a slide show talk and short demonstrations of the processes that were involved. 
Contact form at the bottom of this page.


 

Diary of a Rugmaker

Sunday

I arrived at 10 pm Sunday evening for my 5-day course 

The street view- Mehemet’s shop is situated is in this beautiful bustling street full of atmosphere and charm. The street was so full of atmospheric with so many interesting shops and antiques to rummage through. I loved it came away with some lovely trinkets, well! you just have to buy a few things, don’t you! It would be rude not too. As you can see the street was full of suspended vibrant kilim woven rugs. I could have spent all day in these little shops. It was so exciting to be surrounded by the hustle and bustle, the colours, textures and smells. I was in my element. 

Even though I didn't arrive until late on Sunday I still made a start on the rug. After choosing the design I started rolling some of the outlines until 2.30am!

Monday morning,

I was up at 7.30-bright and early and in the shop by 8.30 am. Here I am sitting on my paper design,  covered with a clear plastic taped to the floor and I am laying down the outline to my design.  

Wednesday

Day 3 am. Felting with a candle at the side as there were power cuts. There was a little light, but the flash on the camera lit up the image. At this point in time, the realisation hit home that I was working against the clock and there was no time for slacking!    

Day 3 pm At the wool Bazaar. We chose our fleece which would be our background for the rug.

Here Mehmet is dying the fleece a beautiful gold colour. This will be used for the backing of the rug.  

Friday

Day 5 – The fulling process Rubbing, stretching, stomping, rubbing the rug took most of the 5th afternoon.    

After very long  – 12 hour days, the rug is finally finished!! Image- Mehmet and I are on the completed rug at midnight, with a big smile on my face I was so happy to have completed and dried my rug sufficiently to pack away in my suitcase just in time for my flight home the following morning.

Now what an amazing achievement that I will never forget.   

 




 

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