Pupils don’t do dens by half

The Mongolians of Central Asia are famed for their portable yurts made from felt, which they carry with them as they criss-cross the steppes.

Their centuries-old design was the inspiration for this modern masterpiece, unveiled last week at Craigholme Nursery in Pollokshields.

The Craigholme yurt was a painstaking two-year project involving the whole school community.

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Its creation was sparked by the unpredictable West of Scotland weather.

The children, who love playing outdoors, complained when their dens, hand made from branches, leaves and twigs, fell apart whenever it rained. They asked for a new den to be waterproof.

Susie Fleming, a member of staff who is an expert in felting, agreed to make a felted tent in the style of a Mongolian yurt, which would keep the rain out and the children cosy. The process involves taking unspun Merino wool and layering it to form a base. A design made from coloured wool is then laid on top before liquid soap and warm water are added. Rubbing the fibres together in the soapy water turns the wool into felt.

Finally, after two years of perseverance, the job was done and more than 100 guests attended the grand opening ceremony. Craigholme principal Brendan Farrelly said: “I made a panel myself so I know how difficult it was.

“It is a fantastic achievement on a project that teaches the children so much and will have an enduring effect.”