The first comprehensive book on felt-making traditions across the world, superbly illustrated and with particular emphasis on the felt of Central Asian nomads.
Believed to be one of the earliest textiles, felt has been made by the nomadic peoples of Central Asia for over 2,500 years and the craft still thrives today as an integral part of their culture. Valued for both its functional and decorative qualities, felt is used to make yurts and all manner of objects relating to daily life, such as carpets, interior fittings, carrying bags, saddle cloths and clothing.
The book looks in particular detail at the Turkic and Mongol traditions, which include felt from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Xinjiang and from Mongolia, Tibet, Bhutan and South-East Asia. As well as the history and technology of feltmaking, the book will explore patterns and symbolism.
Illustrated with spectacular textiles from museums in Britain, the United States, Russia and Europe, as well as field photographs, archival material and details of motifs, this book will provide a unique insight into nomadic life as well as an inspirational source of designs for textile specialists.
Dr Stephanie Bunn is a lecturer at St Andrews University, Scotland. She has made several collections of felts for British museums, and was anthropological consultant to the exhibition ‘Striking Tents: Central Asian Nomad Felts from Kyrgyzstan’ (Museum of Mankind, 1997).
Publishing February 2011
Available exclusively from the British Museum shops and online
(www.britishmuseumshoponline.org) from 30th November 2010
160 pages, 210 colour, 20 b&w illustrations
PB: 978 0 7141 2557 2, £25