Artisanal  felt

Felt (georg. თექა) in Georgian is called  – Teka. Felt technique in Georgia is one of the oldest in folk applied art. The first felt samples and items were discovered by archaeologists and date back to the 2nd millennium BC. The production of felt in Georgia began from the time when people mastered the technique of processing wool. This is how carpets, rugs, clothes, hats, shoes were born. The processing of felt and wool, reflecting family traditions and the way of life of folk crafts, has been passed down from generation to generation.

Teka was produced in almost all parts of Georgia (Tusheti, Kakheti, Khevi, Javakheti) and had many uses. They sewed scarves and clothes. As a decor, it was used to decorate the interior of the house. Teka was used during the sewing of the famous Georgian “Nabadi” (huge mantle) for shepherds during nomadism, for sheltering tents. The best example of felt is face weaving, which was produced in Tusheti and was distinguished by simple and delicate ornamentation. He had not only aesthetic, but also a cult purpose.

Dyed wool products appear in the 5th-6th centuries. Of the sheep breeds widespread in the Caucasus, the soft and shiny wool of Tushins sheep was considered to be of the highest quality; it is very remarkable from a technological point of view, as it is highly resistant to twisting and stretching. It is characterized by great obedience to dyeing. The wool from different parts of the ram’s body is also taken in different ways. The dorsal hair is well absorbed, the cervical hair is poor, although this wool is very useful in terms of use.

The main raw material for the production of felt is wool fiber with spinning properties. The production of this fabric and its artistic processing have occupied an important place in the cultural, aesthetic and economic development of Georgia since ancient times. Archaeological excavations and records of ancient historians, geographers and travelers (Herodotus, Strabo, later – Marco Polo and Jean Chardin) indicate that in ancient Georgia there was a fabric obtained from the processing of raw materials (wool).

Teka blends perfectly with modernity and never looks old-fashioned. Thanks to its rich history and purpose, this field of art still enjoys great success. It is a versatile product that can become a garment, decoration, or weave. Felt fabric has healing properties due to the 100% natural composition of wool. It neutralizes toxic substances from the human body and protects it from electromagnetic fields. Felt fabric made from undyed wool has the most useful properties.