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About Kazakhstan / Arts / Craftsmanship / Artistic Textile and Embroidery

Since ancient times, Kazakh women were decorating their clothes and home belongings with embroidery. They embroidered in silk, wool; they knew gold and small purl embroidery. Kazakh embroidery was used in clothes, decoration of the houses and artistic decoration of various household goods.

A very significant of the applied arts was patterned weaving. On the simple weaving looms women were making tufted and smooth carpets, patterned rugs, which served as the beautiful decoration of the houses. These things were famous for the perfection of pictures and colours. Bright look of the yurtas was provided by the patterned mats made with great taste and masterly from “chiy” interlaced with colourful wool threads.

Amongst women’s household works and crafts we can emphasize production of felt goods, weaving, embroidery etc. Felt production is the most typical for Kazakhs. Production of patterned felt is famous in two types: “alakiiz” – putting the picture from the coloured wool to semi-ready felt; and “syrmak” – sewing the two-coloured felt on the inside side, and two same pictures of different colours are made, and the remainder of the second picture serves as the background for the first picture and vice versa. Felt is widely used very widely both for covering the yurtas and as the bedding of for other purposes.

Felt production is the simplest form of the wool use historically related to nomad and stock-raising mode of life: it is the real, very ancient property of Kazakhs. On the contrary, another form of wool processing (spinning and weaving) can be considered as the element borrowed from the settled culture.

Kazakh embroidery is coloured with the rainbow range and the dominant colour is red.

The most developed Kazakh ornamental motives are all possible combinations from horn-shaped curls, which form rhombuses, crosspieces and chains, which are the symbolical signs for wishing wealth, plenty of livestock, its safety from plague and other disasters.

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