The technique used to produce these products is called “wet/nuno felting”. Loose wool and silk or other fabrics are literally forced together manually through a physical process, and is all done by hand. Once the wool migrates through the cloth, the wool is shrunken, and it causes silk or other fabrics to wrinkle and become this lovely texture.
The history of felt is far older than weaving, going back to the Uighur period in Central Asia and to the Hittites in Anatolia. The Turkmens traditionally lived in tents made of white and black felt symbolizing wealth and poverty. Felt making was widespread among the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks.
The uncle of famous 13th century mystic Haci Bektas Veli was named “Kecheci Baba” (Father of the Felt Makers) who lived in the village of Kecheci in the district of Erbaa, Tokat-Turkey. Although felt is mainly made by machine today, there are few masters who still continue to produce handmade products in Turkey. The last remaining felt makers are to found in Turkish provinces of Afyon, Balikesir, Konya, Izmir, Kars, Erzurum and Sanliurfa.