Felt is the oldest fabric that ever appeared on Earth. Felt is made with a conglomeration of animal’s fibers, which is created by combining heat and friction. Therefore, a resistant, soft and waterproof material is created. This technique was used on every continent since ages.
The oldest felt’s trace found during excavations was a wall covering dated from 6500 to 6300 years B.C in Çatal Hüyük in Turkey.

Thanks to Latin’s authors, we can find written sources about felt at the Gallic time, and the great knowledge and mastery of Gauls about this material.
Unfortunately, felt is a material that decays fast when it is underground, and only a few objects stayed undamaged from the Gallic time until now.

But we can find fabric’s traces when those ones are linked to metals. For example, in the Gallic necropolis of « Vaugrignon » in Esvres-sur-Indres (Indre-et-Loire), remains of wool were found on fibulas ( 2nd century B.C).
Felted wool socks and slippers were also found in Martres-de-Veyre’s necropolis (Puy de Dôme). Felted soles made of hare’s hair were found in Bâle (cf. Geneviève Roche-Bernard ” Costumes and Textiles in Roman Gaul .”, 1993).

Wool, used as felt could be shaped into different objects such as hats, wooly hats, coats, stockings, shoe’s soles, mattresses … Geneviève Roche-Bernard ” Costumes and Textiles in Roman Gaul . » 1993.


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