Traditional felt carpets are one of the foremost arts of the Kyrgyz people and an integral part of their cultural heritage.
The most famous types of carpets are:
- Shyrdak which is weaved by mosaic technique. The carpet is made of two kinds of felt. The pieces of dyed felt are folded and sawn together. The ornament is applied with the help of a piece of chalk and cut with a fine knife.
Ala Kiyiz is usually used as a carpet. But now more and more artists use them as wall hangings as it is possible to create picturesque compositions with the help of the technique.
A background layer of wood is placed on a mat of chiy. Then wool of other colors is put on top of the background. It is possible to create any ornament or picture by placing the strands of colored wool. The wool is then covered with a cloth and sprinkled with hot water. Then the chiy mat is rolled up and string tied around it. The wooden roll is taken to an open space and rolled, (with the hands, elbows, and feet), kicked, and trodden on for several hours depending on the size of the wool. In the end, the mat is unwound and the wool carpet is left to dry.
The picture on the carpet is always unique and it is interesting to watch how the wool strands change their color.
You will be able to take part in the master class of making ala kiyiz and even take one back home.
After show we visit the handicraft museum and a shop.