Thursday, 5 November 2009

Thank you for visiting this, my first blog, for the promotion of 'Kyrgyz Felt'. The work that I am selling is entirely hand made by artisans living and working in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan....
Since my visit to Central Asia in 2000, I have been helping Kyrgyz artisans to promote their work in Europe by way of exhibitions and sales. I operate on an entirely fair-trade basis. For more information please feel free to contact me by email:
Thank you, and enjoy browsing!

"Suzani"- designer jackets from Uzbekistan
Nargis Bekmuhamedova is a couturier living in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. She makes incredibly beautiful, tailored jackets using recuperated antique textiles. The 'suzani' is the classic Uzbek hand-embroidered 'dowry' object, usually large enough to cover a double bed, often used as a decorative wall hanging. The silk embroidered designs represent weeks and weeks of labour by the women of the family in preparation for a wedding or a birth. These days Suzani of quality are increasingly hard to come by and even damaged ones reach a high price and are hugely sought after by antiquarians and textile collectors. Nargis finds pieces that are beyond repair and cleverly cuts them so that the patterns follow in a flattering manner the form of the jacket. Like the suzani fabric itself, all of Nargis work is hand-stitched to a high quality. Only the fragile base fabric of the suzani is reinforced with intricate machine work. Most of these suzani fabrics date from pre-1950. I have three suzani jackets currently in my possession. Nargis also reworks antique wood-block printed fabrics of Persian origin and I hope to have more of these items to sell in the future

Suzani jacket, silk lined, reversible. Version no.1,
Size: small (UK size 8-10)
price on request

Suzani jacket, silk lined, reversible. Version 2,
Fuschia- bright.
Size: medium to large (UK size 14/16)
price on request

Suzani jacket, Version 3:
Reversible, 100% silk lining.
This particular jacket is lined with an incredible 'ikat' woven silk made in the mountainous Ferghana valley region of Uzbekistan.
Size: medium (UK size 12-14)
price on request

"Shyrdak" from Kyrgyzstan

All the items listed below are made entirely by hand using natural materials and traditional techniques.
"Shyrdak" is the Kyrgyz term for stitched felt carpets. A motif, usually based on a symbol representing some aspect of the natural environment, is cut from 2 or more different coloured pieces of felt, and then replaced with a different colour. Depending on the number of colours used, there will always be a positive and a negative version of the same carpet. The cut pieces are stitched into place and embroidered, and then sewn onto a hard-wearing backing of natural, un-dyed felt. The felt itself, in the case of the objects shown here, is made in the same village, a simple, but lengthy procedure, involving the teasing and pressing of unwashed, natural sheep's wool, with the addition of hot, sometimes soapy, water.
Independent since 1991, Kyrgyz men and women strive to re-establish long standing traditions and handicrafts as part of their cultural heritage. Today small co-operatives are enthusiastically producing beautiful objects; carpets, cushion, slippers, yurts (nomadic dwellings: for more info on yurts please visit my website at However, due to an unsettled economic and political climate, they struggle to sell their wares to a wider public.
Originally a nomadic people, my friends in Bokonbaev, a small village on the shores of Lake Issyk Kyl, (the largest high-altitude water mass after Lake Titicaca) are primarily farmers. The wool they use to make felt comes from local sheep which are particularly hardy and provide a thick, almost entirely water resistant wool of extremely high quality.

Single squares of stitched felt in traditional shyrdak design make excellent seat covers. In this collection we have several examples, including the matching pair shown above.
-Neutral (un-dyed) -4 examples. Size 37 x 37cm
28 euros ,£25.00 (the set: 100 euros, £90.00) SOLD
-Red and brown - 2 examples. Size 40 x 40 cm
35 euros, £30 (the pair: 60 euros, £50.00)
-Neutral- pair. Size 43 x 43 cm
35 euros, £30 (the pair: 60 euros, £50.00)

Beautiful hall runner in bright hand-stitched felt. 100% wool.
Size:70 x 220cm
220 euros, £200.00

Beautiful hall runner, a contemporary design from Kyrgyz artisan, Jyldyz Asanakunova. 100% wool, hand stitched and dyed. Size: 70 x 280cm
270 euros, £250.00

Contemporary design using traditional shyrdak technique, these unique rugs are made by the Altin Oimok (golden thimble) women's cooperative, based on the shores of Lake Issyk Kyl.
(2 examples in collection)
Size: 70 x 130cm
180 euros, £160.00

Bright squares of colour in this contemporary take on the traditional Kyrgyz shyrdak.
Size: 120 x 120cm, 260 euros, £235.00

'Circus'- bright squares of shyrdak stitched together and backed with felt. Size: 86 x 164 cm
(3 examples in collection) 220 euros, £200.00.

Cushion covers: flower, foliage and butterfly. Hand-stitched and decorated with embroidery and bead-work. 40 x 40 cm. Interior padding (synthetic) provided.
45 euros, £40.00 each.

'Dragon' carpet. Hand-stitched by Kyrgyz artisan Jyldyz Asanakunova.
Size: 57 x 247 cm
270 euros, £250.00.

Shyrdak in brown and gold. Natural dyes, entirely hand-stitched.
Size: 75 x 145 cm
220 euros, £200.00

Cushion covers: hand embroidered with beading detail.
Square cushion 46 x 46 cm.
Rectangular cushions (pair): 35 x 55cm.
Interior padding (synthetic) provided.
55 euros, £50 per cushion.

Shyrdak in green and blue, made entirely by hand from 100% wool.
Size: 90 x 260 cm.
340 euros , £305.00.

If any of the items listed above are of interest to you, please contact me by email, quoting the item description, size and price, at:
Please also remember that prices do not include postage and packing. The final price is weight dependant, and I will quote you this before you commit to buying.
Thanks, Jonquil