Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan - Part 1: Born from the Landscapes

Felting Fun Across Kyrgyzstan - Part 1: Born from the Landscapes


This morning, as I was driving back from my weekly strength training session, I stopped to take a couple of photos as I passed through Sandia Pueblo on the northern border of Albuquerque. Not only because I love those mountains and the New Mexico sky, but also because they were so perfect for this article.

Why, you may ask, would I want to show you the New Mexico mountains, when I promised I would tell you more about my journey to the ‘Stans? Hold that thought, and it will become clear.


In my most recent blogs and newsletters, I’ve focused on the HoonArts artisans that I intended to visit on our 3 ‘Stans Tour. You haven’t yet heard about the last HoonArts artisan group that we visited on our tour—on the very last day day of the tour in Bishkek. That group is “Seven Sisters,” who are famous for their felting work, especially their felted silks. Our red felted silk poppy scarves serve as our “booth magnets” at every event—drawing people magnetically to examine their unique beauty.


But as I sat down this morning to write about that visit, I realized that our week in Kyrgyzstan was dominated by amazing felt artists with many different types of products. And that led naturally to the thought that the felting arts in Kyrgyzstan are a natural outgrowth of the traditional nomadic lifestyle of the Krygyz people, with their flocks of animals and their traveling yurts.

And that led me down the path of thinking about the mountainous landscapes that gave rise to that nomadic culture. In my memories of our journey, the landscapes and the felting arts are woven together as two integral parts of the tapestry of traditional rural life in Kyrgyzstan.

And then I realized that I had waaaay too many photos and videos about felting and landscapes to fit in a single blog post. So in my mind, it became a three-part series. Today, I’m focusing on the landscapes. Part 2 will include an overview of the wide variety of felting techniques and products we saw along the way. And in Part 3, I’ll share more about our visit to the studio of Seven Sisters, where I joined the tour group to make my own felted silk scarf (for the first time).

I still had a LOT of gorgeous photos (or more properly stated, photos of gorgeous landscapes), so I decided to pull out some of the best and put together a little video that I hope will give you a taste of the beauty we traveled through during our journey. And when you’re finished, you should know the answer to why I included photos of the Sandia Mountains in this blog post.



Next week, tune in for Part 2 of this Felting Fun Series: Felting, Felting and More Felting

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