About felt and me

Felting is an ancient craft that fills the life of nomads with warmth and wonder since the dawn of time. Felted clothes, rugs, artefacts are still a part of everyday life. Nomad means felt. The Land of Nomads is the Land of Felt.

I was about to start to learn leather-works and felt-making in a folk-art school, when I accidentally ended up in an Animation Studio having an affair with Stop-Motion. I went on to study History of Art and Aesthetics (Philosophy of Art) for 6 years where my love towards the ancient times grew giant.  The lost mythical creatures that nomadic people decorated their felted rugs, clothes and artefacts, their tattoos and metalworks with, added that my ancestors, the Hungarians were nomads as well, masters of felt and silver many centuries ago, woke my curiosity. Now alongside the mysteries finally I arrived back to the humble craftsmanship and learnt felt-making.

My mission apart of to puzzle out and unravel the meanings of the hidden symbols and the forgotten ways of life of the nomads is to rediscover the skill of felt-making that people were once expert of, but the craftsmanship died out with the disappearing lifestyle. Learning and perfecting these old techniques fascinates me since many years, and it connects me back to my origins as now I live in Western Australia, also it opens up a new channel to practice art while I actually create useful, valuable works that brighten up everyday life with colours and magic.

While I work with these beautiful materials I am truly amazed about the qualities of wool: it is water-repellent if felted properly. It is so warm that it really keeps us safe from the elements or cold floors and walls. Its shape-holding property: the reason why it is still used for hat-making and explains that recently the world discovered how wonderful art-medium handmade felt is, and the sustainability of wool, as no animal needs to suffer for obtaining wool unlike it is the fact unfortunately with hats made of fur. And at last many says wool has healing properties but lets leave this to our own consideration.

And the silk, oh well, so exotic and luxurious it is, no wonder the Silk Road once was the vein of life, I can’t stop being amazed by the beautiful hand-dyed fabrics I have a luck to work with. Silk is just literally the most wonderful fabric of all. Its shine is one thing, its elegance is an other, but as light and soft it is while it is so warm, just so interesting. And as wild and stubborn silk is, the soft and obedient fibres of merino can tame it, and this unity is just magical.

The old Persian word for felt and felted rugs is namad, comes from a word of Scythian origin: namadi in old Sanskrit. Its variations are many, like namat, nemet, Kashmir namda, Uzbeg namat, Uigur nemed, Georgian nabadi, Indian namda, even the Hungarian nemez, arrived to Greek as nomad describing the “wandering groups in Arabia”.

I was lucky enough that I had a tiny chance to learn from the best Hungarian felt-makers. They not only opened my eyes to the ancient heritage and the endless possibilities of felt but taught me what a well-made felt is, therefore my calling is to create strong, sturdy and indestructible felt from the softest and best quality Australian materials to spread once again the honour of felt to the world with innovative ideas to find the way how it suits us best in the modern days. I am making long-lasting, carefully executed items and I give warranty on them because they should last a lifetime if well made and cared for, no wonder every felted item was special and well respected in the past.

While practicing traditional and new felt-making techniques I create slow-fashion accessories and clothes, hats, masks and costumes, quality toys and decorations. My handcrafted felt-works made only from wool and silk: the forever-noble materials that are given to us by nature, selected and processed by careful hands.

Boróka Égerházi