Felt rugs are considered to be the earliest floor coverings and the predecessors of knotted rugs: fragments of such burial objects have been discovered in graves thousands of years old. The most famous findings were from a Pazyryk burial mound in the Altai Mountains dating back to the forth to fifth century B.C.E. This felt rug from Kyrgyzstan called a “Shyrdak” is an impressive piece attesting to this ancient textile art.
To produce this felt rug, wet sheep’s wool was soaked in soapy water, then rolled, rubbed and kneaded until it became densely matted. The felt layers were then dyed and subsequently cut out. The elements of the pattern were applied and finally sewn together in double layers. Apart from the sheer craftsmanship, the striking composition of designs and colours with exciting positive and negative effects is highly impressive. Each ornament has a specific meaning such that these pieces not only serve a practical warming function, but also have a spiritual significance. This Shyrdak was purchased in the 1970s from the Bernheimer art gallery in Munich, after which it had been part of a private collection.
Owned by Lerch Teppich, Munich
Format: 435 x 160 cm (approx. 14‘ 3“ x 5‘ 3“)
Age: circa 1900
Material: Felted wool, sewn together in double layers