Various items made of wool. Often composed by wet felting of wool.
When wet felting wool, felt is made by moistening wool with hot water and at the same time by stimulating friction so that the fibers slide along each other. Because the scales prevent the return, the fiber mass will become more compact and firmer.
This process is called felting. It is a lengthy process, because never more than five percent of the fibers change places at the same time. Some of this can be seen when one wases a wool garment hot: the wool shrinks because the fibers have started to hook together. For centuries, felt has been made in this way with the help of water, soap, heat and friction.
Felt was probably the first form of textiles that man-made, in addition to the intertwining of plant strands. In any case, the invention of felt was well ahead of that of weaving and knitting. The oldest preserved felt residues date from around 6500 BC and were found in Asia.
Even in later times, felting was an important step in making sheets of fabric. It was widely used, initially in large tubs, later in felting mills.