Felt rugs have very ancient origins and were born thousands of years before knotted or loom-woven rugs (3rd millennium BC). The felt was obtained from wool soaked with hot water and then beaten for a long time with reeds until a homogeneous and resistant fabric was obtained.
Felt rugs are typical of the nomadic populations of Central Asia, who used them to isolate and adorn their yurts, keeping these mobile homes warm in winter and cool in summer. In fact, these rugs could be transported easily, being light but very resistant.
Very famous are the Shyrdak rugs originating from Kyrgyzstan. These rugs are still made entirely by hand by Kyrgyz women today.
Two felt panels of different colors are superimposed and carved according to ancient designs, in order to insert the carving of one color in the empty space of the other. After obtaining a perfect fit, the various parts are then sewn together with a braided cord. Everything is then laid, stitched and quilted on a felt base that gives greater solidity to the carpet.
The decorative motifs of Shyrdak rugs, as well as their colors, have a precise symbolic meaning. Recurring is the decorative motif of the ram that symbolizes abundance or that of the dog’s tail that symbolizes friendship or the “umai” symbol of the mother who protects the child.