Claudy Jongstra is a contemporary textile designer who practices the ancient technique of felting. Jongstra’s fabrics have a raw elegance that comes from her use of materials such as wild silk, wild linen, and wild cashmere, as well as the special (and proprietary) techniques she has developed in her felting. Jongstra even goes so far as to raise her own sheep in the Dutch countryside and currently has a herd of 200 including the rare species of long-haired Drenthe Heath, whose shorn locks she felts along with the straw and lanolin that accumulates on their hair.
This textile by Jongstra is a primary example of felting, which is a technique that uses the application of pressure, heat, and moisture to mat together fibers. The fibers are not spun or twisted, but are simply amassed together in an expressive composition of varied textures. Composition (DH/WD/SI 001) exemplifies Jongstra’s work. This textile is made of wool merino, Drenthe Heath, Wensley Dale, wild silk, and cotton gauze that appears to come directly from the back of the sheep.