Yurt Update – Finally a Little Bit of Felting

Yurt Update – Finally a Little Bit of Felting

I finally started on felting for the yurt. Not much, but a sample to figure out shrinkage.

Wool BattThis is one of the batts rolled out on the living room floor. That is a yardstick so you can see about how big it is. It looks grey here but it’s really brown.

Wool LayoutHere’s my sample square ready to felt. I used two layers of batt so I can make sure it will be thick and heavy enough to keep out the weather.

Wool Layout ThicknessIt was almost 6″ thick.

Yurt Felt SampleAnd here’s the final sample after felting. It is very thick and sturdy. The wool felted easily but it only shrank 6%. That seems minimal to me. I’m used to 30% so I hope that it doesn’t shrink differently when I do a large wall piece. But after a bunch of math, I figured out that I might just have enough wool for the walls and the roof. Now, we just have to work out exactly how we’re going to pull the big rolled bundle behind the tractor. There is talk from my husband about field draggers, PVC pipe, chain etc. But that’s his job. I’m rolling the felt up around the PVC pipe and he’s going to do all the connecting to the tractor and pulling it around the field.

Short Wall Slats with 45 degree Angle Cut for DoorWe’re also still working on the frame and I still have some sanding yet to do. These are the final pieces that I needed to cut shorter for the walls. The ends needed to be cut at a 45 degree angle  as they will be butting up against the door frame.

Cutting the TonoThe next part we started working on is called the tono. It is the center section of the roof where all the roof poles insert. Luckily, we already had this set up for our router. It is to make circles. It is kind of like using a string and pencil to draw a circle.

Tono CutHere’s one of the circles completely cut.

Remaining BoardWe saved the extra piece to make the rest of the tono.

Cutting the Inner CircleThen we needed to cut another circle within the circle. More measuring and the nail is what holds the plastic jig in the center.

Inner Circle Cut


Here it is as we finished cutting the inner circle out.

Proud Hubby


Doesn’t he look proud!

First Tono LayerHere is the first layer cut out. We made three all together that we will glue together to make the wood thick enough for the holes for the roof pole ends.

Cutting Other Tono PartsThen there are pieces that arch up over the flat tono circle. We rigged up a way to use the old center circle and made an arc cut with the router. Now we just have to cut the ends and this piece will be the arch over the circle. It’s a little hard to picture but I’ll show you more photos when we have it together.

So the wall felting will begin in the next two weeks. If you’re in the area and you’d like to join in, let me know and I’ll give you the schedule. I’d love to have you join us!






12 thoughts on “Yurt Update – Finally a Little Bit of Felting

  1. 6% – that’s not much is it? But when you’re laying out the large pieces, it’ll be good to only have to allow for 6% shrinkage rather than 30%!

    That’s a neat circle cutter you have there.

    This is fascinating to follow and I’m still in awe of your bravery.

    1. I agree that 6% seems low. That was why I was a bit worried that it might change later on just when I don’t want it to. But I really like that I don’t have to make it so huge to start with. It is a neat circle cutter. I had forgotten we had it but luckily hubby came to the rescue. I’m not sure I’m brave, perhaps I just lost my mind 🙂

  2. Great job! If the shrinkage is only 6% it should save on wool costs. I’m in awe at the intricate details of this project and how organized you and your husband are about managing the project. Happy felting!

  3. Great start. I think you are very brave too. The sample looks well fulled. 6% isn’t much but if that what you get on the large peices too then it will save you some time. And save your husband going around and around and around. After the first big piece is done then remeasure and see if the shrinkage scaled up. fingers crossed.

    1. Thanks Ann – the sample seems to be well fulled. I will measure again and I’m keeping fingers and toes crossed!! 🙂

  4. Wow, you have been busy! That’s good news about the shrinkage 🙂
    I saw something years ago about a group recreating the ‘old way’ of felting for yurts with the wool been dragged behind a horse, I can’t remember whether it was a tractor doing the dragging, but they wrapped their wetted down wool around a large pvc pipe, put a chain or rope through the middle and this allowed the pipe/felt to roll as it was dragged.

    1. It is good news about the shrinkage, as long as it stays at that percent. That is exactly how we plan on doing it and it must work, right? 🙂

  5. Newbie question. If your sample reduced by 6 % and the rest of the wool is the same type of wool, won’t the shrinkage be the same? Does the wool shrink more or less depending on whether you do the felting or the tractor does the felting? Does the weather effect the felting?

    1. The shrinkage should be the same Billie but it wasn’t felted the same way and the piece is much bigger than the sample. So any changes can make a difference. But the answer is that the percentage stayed about the same. Weather shouldn’t affect it.

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