Felt Manufacturing

For centuries the Kazakh steppe accepted caravans of the Great Silk Road in oases of its cities and settlements.
The main line of the Silk Road on the territory of Kazakhstan lay across the country’s south; from the border with China trade caravans moved through the cities of Sayram, Yassy, Otrar, Taraz, and further to Central Asia, Persia, to the Caucasus and from there to Europe.
Kazakh nomads have been intimately linked to Silk Road trade and culture since ancient times.
They are proud of their historical achievements, which include movable dwellings (yurta), clothing suitable for riding horseback, felt and leather utensils. They invented kumys (fermented mare's milk), the art of hunting with birds of prey, and bowed stringed instruments that are the ancestors of the cello and violin.
But one of the most popular Kazakh traditional arts is felting.
Felt is deeply rooted in the culture of the nomadic tribes of Kazakhstan. Felt was used not only as a good, but also in everyday life. Nomads lived in Yurts (felt house) decorated with colorful felt carpets and household items, they slept on felt, wore felt and covered own horses by felt. Wall hangings were used as doors. Felt protected them from enemy arrows, spirits, and against heat and cold.
Felting passed down from generation to generation. Nowadays, there is a revival of this ancient art in Kazakhstan. Highly valued properties of felt as naturalness, eco-friendliness, ease and practicality, as well as the healthy properties of sheep wool are famous throughout the world. Felt products shows cultural values of the Kazakhs, and it is reminding people of their roots. This ancient craft, being environmentally friendly production, generates income for unemployed women.

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