Although there are various definitions in different resources, kick-felt is generally defined as a surface obtained by fastening epithelial cells of leather-product animal fibres together via the effects of humidity, pressure and movement into a form resistant to disintegration.
Works produced with a type of very thick, non-woven, warp-free fabric obtained by pressing wool by various methods are grouped under the term ‘felt art’ and its practitioners are referred to as ‘felt artists’.
Considering its making, felt is also defined as a type of ground cover produced by spreading fleece over straw mat and rolling up and stomping on the resulting two-layer cover.
Felt varieties that survived to our day include baby felt, rag rug, ottoman, hall rug, cushion, prayer rug, pillow, baggage, cloak, yamçı, cone, puttee, harness, saddle (haşa), wall felt, ground furnace (tandır) felt, packsack, bag, turluk and alacık.
The best felt products are obtained in June with the first shearing season of lambs, while second-quality products are obtained in August with the second shearing season of sheep. The tools used in the making are mould, kalıpgeç (protective cover), rod (sepki), scissors, rope, water cup, sweeper, scales and steam boiler, etc.
The felt is processed through the steps of scutching, throwing, casting, rolling up, covering, firing, picketing, rolling, mixing and broaching.
Formerly produced in designated sections of Turkish baths by foot and hand, felt arts are currently performed generally by machine except for casting and rolling up.
Felts are evaluated in two groups, namely unicoloured and multicoloured felts. There are also varieties of naturally coloured felt ornamented with embroidery.
Especially producers of packsaddles, pads and camel pads ornament their products by applying embroidery with packing-type needles and yarn made of goat hair.
Another method of ornamenting felts is performed by designing ornaments from coloured pieces of felt, placing these onto straw mat, spreading pieces of wool on top and rolling up and compressing these three layers together. Another method is colouring via tie-dying with angora yarns applied onto the felt. On the other hand, distinguished with pieces of appliquéd felt creating an embossed appearance, ‘Kıymalı’ felt is an example of unicoloured and ornamented felt works.
According to a relevant study, areas in Turkey still involved in felt works are Konya, Afyon, Balıkesir, Bigadiç, Manisa, Maraş, Sandıklı, Turgutlu, Tire, Ödemiş, Bergama, Akhisar, Simav, Savaştepe, Karacasu, Yalvaç, Serinhisar, Tavas, Denizli, Şanlıurfa, Ağrı, Bursa, Korkuteli, Kütahya, Adıyaman, Besni and Mardin.