Ala-kiyiz is a traditional Kyrgyz carpet, which can be used as a beautiful decoration for a yurt as well as for a house. Ala-kiyiz is made of felt. Traditionally felt for ala-kiyiz was of one color. But nowadays people can dye felt in different colors thanks for modern technologies. Ala-kiyiz can be small and big and can easily replace any picture.
The process of making ala-kiyiz is considerably easy and very interesting: First of all wool is dyed in different colors. The background of one color is placing on a mat of chiy, and then wool of another color is laid on top to create a pattern or picture. Afterwards the wool is sprinkled with hot water and the chiy mat is rolled up and taken to an open space, kicked and trampled down for several hours. In this way felt pattern is pressed strongly into the background. After that the mat is unwound and the wool is washed with soap, and at the end the carpet is left to dry; when the wool is dried the borders between background and colored felt are completely connected - giving individual motives and the carpet has unique appearance. It takes one or two days to produce ala-kiyiz. Usually ala-kiyiz lay out on the floor in yurt and can use for 20-25 years. Usually there is a large pattern in centre surrounded by a narrow border area. The patterns in the central and round areas can have a view of horn-like curls (called "muyuz"), dog tails or something else. Each pattern has a certain meaning. During making ala-kiyiz a wide variety of colors are used. They are usually such as red, blue, brown, yellow and orange on a dark black or grey background. Each pattern and color has also an individual meaning.
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!!!
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