Convergence is a gathering of felt makers and sharing knowledge is the underlying theme. It is four full days of immersion and indulgence in every aspect of felt making suitable for all levels of experience. Anyone interested in felt making and textiles should attend. There is no need to belong to a formal textile organisation or felting group. Just come along, learn, share, felt and have fun.

Bunbury Felting Group - 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence ABN 62663714697

The 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence was a fabulous five days in October 2011 at Bunbury Western Australia.

The Convergence may be over but we are still felting so please join us at the Bunbury Felting Group blog.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How to Make Your Very Own Yurt

We often tell people that felt is probably the oldest textile and that once upon a time it was used to make peoples dwellings; but how many of us have actually seen a yurt let alone made one? 

A yurt is the traditional dwelling of the nomadic people of Central Asia, it consists of a collapsible wooden frame and wool felt coverings. Textile artist Martein Van Zulien coordinated a National Yurt Building project in Australia during 1998. The full scale Mongolian style yurt involved over 100 feltmakers across five states and was largely possible through donations of fleece and the use of reclaimed wood.

So we, the 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence Organising Committee, are now proud to provide our readers with your very own step by step instructions for constructing your own yurt, complete with chimney. 

1.  Lay the wool out

2. Roll up the wool

3. Roll with feet - 200 times

4. Roll with horse - 100 laps of field (200 carrots)

5. Enlist the boys (200 beers)

6. Put up the framework

7. Construct centre of yurt

8. Put up roof frame work

9. Dry out wall panels  (it rained heavily!)

10. Get the panels to the framework

11. Put panels up

12. Put roof  on

13. Tie it all up

14. Stand back and admire your  finished yurt

The yurt was made at the Mittagong Textile Fibre Forum  in 1998

The group that worked on the yurt in Mittagong

Many thanks to Helen O'Neill who provided us with the photos. Helen  helped with the roof panel that was made here  in W.A.  She was also in the Mittagong class and you may spot her in a couple of the photos. 
She tells us that they made hangings for the inside of the yurt  and  there was also a pot belly stove in the centre hence the chimney.  She says it was a very calming feeling sitting in this yurt and that some people slept in it overnight.

The finished  yurt  set off on travels around Australia but we do not have any idea where it is now or know if it still exists.

Have you seen the Mittagong yurt?

For more information click here to go to Martein Van Zulien's website. 


Helen Morris said...

No idea where the yurt is but it looks fabulous and I rather wish it was in my garden.

The 2011 Convergence Committee said...

Hi Helen,yes it would make a good garden feature wouldn't it.

There's a picture on wiki of a rather wonderful decorated one that is used as a cafe, see-

Now does that give you any ideas??

(Note to our other readers, Helen is an amazing stenciller - have a look at her blog}

Martien van Zuilen said...

The Yurt is Alive and Very Well!
It is currently in Victoria and, after 13 years the project is going strong. The Yurt will next appear at the TAFTA Fibre FORUM Conference at Geelong; September 25th-October 1st.
For more info go to
Best wishes to all for a great Convergence,
Martien van Zuilen;
Founder and Coordinator of the National Yurt Project
Felt Maker, Teacher, Community Artist
Perth, Australia

The 2011 Convergence Committee said...

Thanks for the update Martien. We'll do a post and let our readers know.

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