Nomadic trellis tents

 

Origin of Yurts

The Yurt, the original circular trellis tents, originates among the nomadic peoples of Asia.  Many variations of its basic structure may be found from the shores of the Black Sea in Turkey, through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and north through to Siberia. Traditionally these circular dwellings provided the focus for family life and shelter from the often harsh elements, as well as having a deep spiritual symbolism. (further reading)

 

The origins of the word Yurt comes from the Turkic language meaning the 'circular imprint on the ground left behind once the tent is moved'.  They have become a cultural meme synonymous with pastoralism, nomadic life-styles, and further 'homeland', 'family' and 'kin'.  These circular tents have emerged in contemporary Western culture as simple alternative housing, and workshop spaces, drawing on the romanticism of open-skied, more traditional rhythms of life.

 

 

 

Yurts in Europe

In Europe, canvas covered yurts have come to offer a connection with a more holistic model of relationship with the natural world.  As such, they have been recreated as part of the movement for permaculture, yoga, environmentalism and well-being.

Yurts, across Europe, have become a symbol of low-impact living and also are embodying the traditional 'homeland' spirituality which is found through living in the circle of life.

Furthermore, the recent movement towards Glamping, and luxury camping has seen a marked interest in these structures.

In true evolutionary style, the yurt in Europe has developed from its origins in small but significant ways that make it more suited to the Western climate.

Most notably the use of custom made canvas covers has largely replaced the traditional felt, which tends to rot pretty quickly with any substantial rainfall.

Often, felt covers are incorporated as insulation under the weather-proof canvas.

From the woven goat and camel hair tents of the Bedouin and the Kuchi, to the felt covered yurts and Gers of the Mongols and Kyrgyz, the igloos of the Inuit, the tipi of the Plains Indians, huts of mud, of thatch, of straw, of wood, and the tarpaulin covered benders of road protesters:

the list is as long as mankind’s scope for making shelter with whatever resources are available.

 

 

 

The Yurts we make

Yurt Frame

 

Yurt Covers

Traditionally, Yurts are covered with felted wool, providing a thick weather-proof covering. However, due to the climatic differences between their homeland in the dry environment of the Steppes and the wetter Atlantic weather of Europe, the tendency is to make a waterproof outer layer, to help the longevity of the tent.

 

 

Our yurts  are covered with canvas (see Materials) as it is much more suited to the European climate than felt. The  yurt cover comes in 3 pieces- the Walls (which have a 30cm PVC skirt), the Roof, and the Top Star. The Star has the option of a canvas, or clear PVC plastic circle which covers the actual wheel, and coloured ’petals’ are a popular choice. A canvas door also comes with the cover, unless a wooden one is specifically requested ( see Catalogue).

Various insulation materials are available, either synthetic or natural fibre. Please contact us for more information.

Windows are available in all shapes and sizes, including opening windows which seal shut with velcro. Made from clear PVC plastic.
(see Materials)

 

 

 

Please take care if you are buying a genuine Mongolian yurt or Ger for use in Europe, to make sure it is fitted with a waterproof cover to prevent the felt from ending up on the compost heap.

We are able to make covers to fit existing yurts, should you be in this situation.

 

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