Felt like Autumn: Yurt Felt Linings

yurt felt lining inside

inside with felt

There is a bit of a nip in the air,  the nights are drawing in and, as well as other things, we are sewing yurt felt linings: this time a big one for a 32′ yurt we made the canvas for earlier in the year.

Yurt felt lining calculations

Felt like calculations

yurt felt lining

Felt like cutting the Roof

It is surprising how much difference a felt lining can make, both for coolness in the heat of summer and warmth in the freeze of winter. I only appreciated this when living in a yurt with a wool felt lining in a Hungarian winter where it got to -22 degrees C. There was still that moment of hesitancy before braving the distance between bed and stove, with the water frozen solid in the cup next to the bed. But yurts are easy to heat and once the stove was fired up, it was possible to sit naked for the morning cup of tea.

Firuzkhui yurt felt lining

Felt lining on the open fire yurt. (The hole is for the stove chimney.)

It’s kind of funny that the 100% wool felt we use comes from Europe, and we are currently living in a part of Wales where there are about 48 sheep to every human. Wool wool all around. The sheep are mainly farmed for meat and wool is a by-product. Anyway,  making enough felt for a yurt lining is a lot of work.

welsh sheep

Welsh sheep

Traditional yurts, of course, have thick felt outer covers as, in the Central Asian countries where the yurts are used, there are extremes of cold and hot, but not wet. The felt’s natural oils and thickness are enough to keep the moisture out, but when the yurt came to the West, an outer waterproof layer was needed. The American yurts went mainly into vinyl, the European went into cotton canvas.

yurt felt

Kyrgyz Yurt

Felt is believed to be one of the earliest textiles and the traditional process is a huge task, usually done by the women of the group. The Mongolian method involves beating the wool first to clean it, then laying it out with the fibres parallel before rubbing water into it. It is then wrapped around a large pole and fastened securely and this pole dragged behind a horse or camel to bind the fibres together. Only then, when the felt is complete with no holes, is it cut into the shapes for the yurt cover, then sewn together by hand.

So if you want a felt lining for a yurt, let us know, and we can start shearing the 100 or so sheep we will need and harnessing the camels, before threading our sewing needles.

Tales of Yurt Power: Two Storey Yurt

 

This chapter of the Tales of Yurt Power, is about the Two storey yurt which we built a few years back on the Canvas Chic campsite.

Two storey Yurt France

 

We had been dreaming for awhile about the magnificence of the tent palaces of the Mughal Emperors  and were designing our own…like a two-storey yurt…

…a good place to begin this story is when I went to Canvas Chic in the Ardeche region of France to open the doors on all their yurt covers.

Canvas Chic was one of the original yurt campsites, in fact they probably coined the word ‘glamping’, and was situated in a beautiful green (Mediteranean) oak forest on the edge of the Ardeche gorge, with its magical prehistoric caves, rushing river and free roaming wild boar. (I say ‘was’ because not long after we were there, the owners sold the site and took the name ‘Canvas Chic’ with them, leaving their name ‘Milles Etoiles’ (a thousand stars) for the new owners).

Canvas chic yurts

Canvas Chic site

The ‘opening the doors’ task was so called because they had bought new wooden doors for all their 14 yurts, which were bigger than the old ones, so the canvas needed opening up at the doors.

Some time later, when we were on the road in our nomadic workshop, we were called to Canvas Chic to make a cover for their terrace, which evolved into to a Turkish Pole Tunnel Tent using bent chestnut rafters, going into an oak ridge pole.

Turkish Tunnel tent

Turkish tunnel tent

The next project somehow became the Two Storey Yurt (remember here that the truck was built with this in mind…)

But how to do it…? When we were wondering how to make the frame, we heard about a French yurt maker who had bought a few Kyrgyz yurt frames with the idea to make a yurt-related structure, but had decided to take his family on the road in a horse-drawn wagon, so was selling the components. We worked out that by cutting some of the roof rafters down, magically it was exactly what we needed for the two-storey yurt frame, and one other yurt (but that’s second story). The Kyrgyz make their frames from willow by hand, shaping the components with a toothed draw knife, which are then coloured with an orange-red dye.

Trucks and Kyrgyz Yurt

Nomadic workshop and Kyrgyz Yurt frame

We weren’t so into a central pillar or an internal staircase as they would block the space, so the fixed deck for the top 20’ yurt sits on 8 pillars, with a side supports held by lots of metal. The rim of this deck then acts as a big wheel for the lower 30’ yurt. The staircase became an outside spirally one.

Two storey yurt upper deck

Deck in process

There was a willing group of volunteers who helped with the building process, which involved being transformed through the up cycling of an industrial stove for the metal of the deck (and conscious cooking).

Two Storey yurt bottom deck

Bottom yurt frame in place

two storey yurt looking down

Looking up from bottom yurt

We thought it was going to be quite a job to put the top yurt cover and frame up, but it ended up being relatively simple, by doing it inside-out instead of outside-in. (Those who have ever erected a yurt will know what I mean).

The two-storey yurt was finished in time for the first Yurt Makers Conference Gathering, where yurt makers and experts came from all over the world to play, vision and eat a lot.

Two storey yurt

Two Storey yurt complete

Our aim is to encourage more campsites to incorporate a tent palace at the centre to bring the people closer to a tribal feeling: the the true magic underlying the campsite experience, where a group of people come out of their separate lives, live in nomadic shelters and get a feel of the group mnd.

Of Water and the Spirit

The above title is of a book I would love to recommend everyone (and the goddess of love especially) to read. My favourite bit is of how the author’s grandfather’s funeral supper gets cooked on the celling, with the cooks being upside down!.

We will borrow the title style for this entry and call it “Of Fire and Of Water”  to do a little a series of tutorials in nomadic fire and water.

The other day we decided that as we now see the road rising towards us again, it is time to make a stove for our 4×4 overland camper. As we like to make things hard we decided to make a water tank for it the at the same time.

We will however start with the stove here, so this will be a tutorial in how to make a gas bottle stove to heat up your heart.

Step one, find a gas bottle and cut to size. IMG_0930   Step two cut door openings IMG_0934   Step three, cut some extra pieces for doors, and for the top and bottom.IMG_0927 Step four,  using your crane flatten up the top and bottom pieces. IMG_0928 Step five and, beat the flattened pieces even flatter with a hammer (also useful for those without cranes). IMG_0929 Step six, get someone else to cut long strips of metal from an old chassis for the grill. IMG_0933 Step seven, while that someone else does the hard work, quickly weld the top on.IMG_0935

Blog | Spirits Intent - Part 4

Felt like Autumn: Yurt Felt Linings

yurt felt lining inside

inside with felt

There is a bit of a nip in the air,  the nights are drawing in and, as well as other things, we are sewing yurt felt linings: this time a big one for a 32′ yurt we made the canvas for earlier in the year.

Yurt felt lining calculations

Felt like calculations

yurt felt lining

Felt like cutting the Roof

It is surprising how much difference a felt lining can make, both for coolness in the heat of summer and warmth in the freeze of winter. I only appreciated this when living in a yurt with a wool felt lining in a Hungarian winter where it got to -22 degrees C. There was still that moment of hesitancy before braving the distance between bed and stove, with the water frozen solid in the cup next to the bed. But yurts are easy to heat and once the stove was fired up, it was possible to sit naked for the morning cup of tea.

Firuzkhui yurt felt lining

Felt lining on the open fire yurt. (The hole is for the stove chimney.)

It’s kind of funny that the 100% wool felt we use comes from Europe, and we are currently living in a part of Wales where there are about 48 sheep to every human. Wool wool all around. The sheep are mainly farmed for meat and wool is a by-product. Anyway,  making enough felt for a yurt lining is a lot of work.

welsh sheep

Welsh sheep

Traditional yurts, of course, have thick felt outer covers as, in the Central Asian countries where the yurts are used, there are extremes of cold and hot, but not wet. The felt’s natural oils and thickness are enough to keep the moisture out, but when the yurt came to the West, an outer waterproof layer was needed. The American yurts went mainly into vinyl, the European went into cotton canvas.

yurt felt

Kyrgyz Yurt

Felt is believed to be one of the earliest textiles and the traditional process is a huge task, usually done by the women of the group. The Mongolian method involves beating the wool first to clean it, then laying it out with the fibres parallel before rubbing water into it. It is then wrapped around a large pole and fastened securely and this pole dragged behind a horse or camel to bind the fibres together. Only then, when the felt is complete with no holes, is it cut into the shapes for the yurt cover, then sewn together by hand.

So if you want a felt lining for a yurt, let us know, and we can start shearing the 100 or so sheep we will need and harnessing the camels, before threading our sewing needles.

Tales of Yurt Power: Two Storey Yurt

 

This chapter of the Tales of Yurt Power, is about the Two storey yurt which we built a few years back on the Canvas Chic campsite.

Two storey Yurt France

 

We had been dreaming for awhile about the magnificence of the tent palaces of the Mughal Emperors  and were designing our own…like a two-storey yurt…

…a good place to begin this story is when I went to Canvas Chic in the Ardeche region of France to open the doors on all their yurt covers.

Canvas Chic was one of the original yurt campsites, in fact they probably coined the word ‘glamping’, and was situated in a beautiful green (Mediteranean) oak forest on the edge of the Ardeche gorge, with its magical prehistoric caves, rushing river and free roaming wild boar. (I say ‘was’ because not long after we were there, the owners sold the site and took the name ‘Canvas Chic’ with them, leaving their name ‘Milles Etoiles’ (a thousand stars) for the new owners).

Canvas chic yurts

Canvas Chic site

The ‘opening the doors’ task was so called because they had bought new wooden doors for all their 14 yurts, which were bigger than the old ones, so the canvas needed opening up at the doors.

Some time later, when we were on the road in our nomadic workshop, we were called to Canvas Chic to make a cover for their terrace, which evolved into to a Turkish Pole Tunnel Tent using bent chestnut rafters, going into an oak ridge pole.

Turkish Tunnel tent

Turkish tunnel tent

The next project somehow became the Two Storey Yurt (remember here that the truck was built with this in mind…)

But how to do it…? When we were wondering how to make the frame, we heard about a French yurt maker who had bought a few Kyrgyz yurt frames with the idea to make a yurt-related structure, but had decided to take his family on the road in a horse-drawn wagon, so was selling the components. We worked out that by cutting some of the roof rafters down, magically it was exactly what we needed for the two-storey yurt frame, and one other yurt (but that’s second story). The Kyrgyz make their frames from willow by hand, shaping the components with a toothed draw knife, which are then coloured with an orange-red dye.

Trucks and Kyrgyz Yurt

Nomadic workshop and Kyrgyz Yurt frame

We weren’t so into a central pillar or an internal staircase as they would block the space, so the fixed deck for the top 20’ yurt sits on 8 pillars, with a side supports held by lots of metal. The rim of this deck then acts as a big wheel for the lower 30’ yurt. The staircase became an outside spirally one.

Two storey yurt upper deck

Deck in process

There was a willing group of volunteers who helped with the building process, which involved being transformed through the up cycling of an industrial stove for the metal of the deck (and conscious cooking).

Two Storey yurt bottom deck

Bottom yurt frame in place

two storey yurt looking down

Looking up from bottom yurt

We thought it was going to be quite a job to put the top yurt cover and frame up, but it ended up being relatively simple, by doing it inside-out instead of outside-in. (Those who have ever erected a yurt will know what I mean).

The two-storey yurt was finished in time for the first Yurt Makers Conference Gathering, where yurt makers and experts came from all over the world to play, vision and eat a lot.

Two storey yurt

Two Storey yurt complete

Our aim is to encourage more campsites to incorporate a tent palace at the centre to bring the people closer to a tribal feeling: the the true magic underlying the campsite experience, where a group of people come out of their separate lives, live in nomadic shelters and get a feel of the group mnd.

Of Water and the Spirit

The above title is of a book I would love to recommend everyone (and the goddess of love especially) to read. My favourite bit is of how the author’s grandfather’s funeral supper gets cooked on the celling, with the cooks being upside down!.

We will borrow the title style for this entry and call it “Of Fire and Of Water”  to do a little a series of tutorials in nomadic fire and water.

The other day we decided that as we now see the road rising towards us again, it is time to make a stove for our 4×4 overland camper. As we like to make things hard we decided to make a water tank for it the at the same time.

We will however start with the stove here, so this will be a tutorial in how to make a gas bottle stove to heat up your heart.

Step one, find a gas bottle and cut to size. IMG_0930   Step two cut door openings IMG_0934   Step three, cut some extra pieces for doors, and for the top and bottom.IMG_0927 Step four,  using your crane flatten up the top and bottom pieces. IMG_0928 Step five and, beat the flattened pieces even flatter with a hammer (also useful for those without cranes). IMG_0929 Step six, get someone else to cut long strips of metal from an old chassis for the grill. IMG_0933 Step seven, while that someone else does the hard work, quickly weld the top on.IMG_0935