Kyrgyz felt rug

Additional information




5'0" x 13'3"

Rug ID




Felt working was a crucial survival skill for the nomads of Eurasia . With its incredible insulating properties, felt was vital for the construction of yurts and life on the harsh steppe. In the Kyrgyz tradition, felt pieces composed of sewn and backed reciprocal designs are known as “shyrdak”. Despite their utilitarian function, nomadic craftswomen imbued their felt pieces with the same care and artistry that defined the entirety of their material culture. Despite this care, the lifespan of a shyrdak felt was relatively short, about 10 to 15 years, and older pieces were frequently recycled for scrap or integrated back into newer production. Hence, older pieces are much more rare than one might expect. This dynamic Central Asian shyrdak draws sinuous curvilinear reciprocal designs in madder red and indigo within a network of diamonds. Here we see figures reminiscent of the so-called “elibelinde” design found in kilims. Perhaps this similarity is coincidental or perhaps it shows connections both between divergent media and distances. Regardless, this is a true example of authentic Central Asian tribal textile art.