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Liisa Torsus

  • Textile Design
  • BA
  • Kivimustud ja natid - Ringed seals and grey seals. Creating felted material for the use of outerwear garments inspired by Estonian coastal folk seal hunters’ coats
  • Tutor: Svetlana Todurova, Piret Valk
  • Knitting, felting

Through the process of working with current Bachelor’s thesis, the author has created felted material for constructing two felted outerwear garments. The felt material consists of a wool layer felted in between of two knitted layers – lace and flat surface. The garments are simple-cut, fully woollen, warm and weatherproof like the source of inspiration – an ethnographic seal hunter’s clothing called posavamsa.

With the chosen design and technique, the author refers to ethnographic seal hunting stories and seals themselves. In knitting technique, smaller loops symbolize whistle-holes seals make in ice for breathing and larger loops symbolize head-holes where the seals crawl onto ice. In addition, the felted surface is similar to an ice field where seals give birth, and moreover, the lacy and dotted material resembles seal fur.

The process of creating the felt material follows sustainable and environmentally friendly principles, looking back at our ancestors’ cleverness in crafting clothes based only on one material. Only native sheep wool and yarn produced in Estonia have been used. The outerwear garments can be worn inside out. One side is grey and the other one natural white – this way, the garments bind two posavamsas in one piece, the one worn during wintertime and the other during autumn. Moreover, it resembles a seal’s lifetime from a white seal pup to a grey grown-up seal.

Photos: Grete Eerikson
Models: Mari Torsus, Liisa Torsus