The technique of making ala-kiyiz is also used for producing such things as bags, belts and clothes. The person who can make ala-kiyiz is highly respected among Kyrgyz people. Ala-kiyiz can be also used as a wonderful dowry for a girl made by her mother. Ala-kiyiz is considered to be ecologically clean product to use in everyday life. So enjoy using one of the most interesting Kyrgyz handicrafts - Ala-kiyiz!!! The Shyrdak is a traditional Kyrgyz felt carpet, usually it has just two colors. The traditional patterns which decorate a carpet are difference animals, birds or flowers. But on some carpets we can see geometrical designs, for example, rhomboids, triangles or hexagons. Traditionally only women were making shyrdaks. One woman can make a shyrdak, but usually several women were producing it. It takes about 15 days to produce a small carpet, while the larger ones can take about one and a half months or sometimes even a year. Shyrdaks are produced in the following way:
Women take two square pieces of felt of different colors and sew them together. Then a pattern is drawn in chalk in a corner of the top layer of felt. The second half of the pattern is produced by folding the felt over and hitting the back so that the chalk outline is imprinted as a mirror reflection - the pattern now covers half of the square of felt. This process is repeated to produce another mirror image on the other half of the square. In this way a perfectly symmetrical pattern is produced.
Welcome to Kyrgyzstan!