Red Poppies Felted on Black Silk


Artist: Zhanyl Sharshembieva
Presented by HoonArts Fair Trade

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The red poppies are hand-felted onto hand-dyed, handwoven silk using a multi-stage wet felting process that combines the traditional felting techniques of ala-kyis with a modern fashion product.

Hand-dyed, handwoven, and hand-felted silk, this Red Poppy shawl was created using a modern outgrown of the traditional Kyrgyz technique of ala-kyis, a multi-stage wet felting process which involves layering of different weights and colors of wool, intricate cutting and stitching, and multiple stages of soaking, rolling, and rinsing. This piece comes from the sixth generation of artisans of the Sharshembieva family, many of them active teachers of the arts.

The artist of this shawl, Zhanyl, can remember, as a child, watching her grandmother lay patterns down on the carpet, and listening as she explained the legends associated with each design. “In Kyrgyz ornaments,” Farzana (another artistic member of the Sharshembieva family) explains, “you can see the distinct history and lifestyles of the ancient nomads in hunting scenes. Our products depict flora and fauna in signs and symbols that have sacred meanings.” Ancient Kyrgyz worshiped the forces of nature, the sun and fire. “Patterns celebrate the beauty of nature, which has magical value that protects and blesses.”

Dimensions: 24” X 79”

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