Svetlana Kolosova, tour guide at the Izmailovo Kremlin's toy museum, gave a one-hour workshop on making felt boots at the Moscow City Press Center.
She taught those present how to make souvenir hand-size felt boots, which can be given to someone or hung from a car's rearview mirror.
"This craft probably dates back to a time before records were kept. Things like this used to be made by children. People would call these handmade lucky charm toys a ‘whisperer' — it was believed that if a person made a wish into a felt boot it would come true," Svetlana said.
People would put a piece of grain into one boot and a coin into the other. This was believed to make a person wealthy.
According to the instructor, making felt boots for an adult takes quite a while.
"It requires patience and intelligence, but it can be rewarding. You have to be calm and just start in. It will help soothe the nerves and relieve stress," she noted.
At the beginning, a form has to be fluffed up, with wool removed from upper layer and put on one side of the form and then on the other side. Then soapy water is poured on the form to make the hand slide and the work easier.
According to Svetlana, felt boots used to be made mostly by men, but later it became women's craft.
Before starting, the wool can be dyed any color you like.
The mastery shows in the details: if you haven't put in enough effort the wool fibers might fall out. It is important to attach the wool to avoid ridging. For this, you have to constantly moisten the wool with soapy water, but in moderation.
The finished felt boots have to be dried, then you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.