Let’s celebrate love – it’s that Valentine’s time of year!
I’m not thinking of the hearts-and-flowers kind of love, though. There’s another kind of love worth celebrating too. It’s the love of making beautiful things. The women who make your Woolenstocks know this love. It’s sewn into every stitch. In the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan, talented artisans are crafting your beautiful slippers from felt.
When they work with felt, these women are tapping into their nomadic history. Yurts made of felt gave their ancestors warmth, shelter and the flexibility to move their homes. They wore felt, ate on felt, slept on felt and lived under felt. Felt was at the core of their existence.
For Kyrgyz nomads, felt meant freedom. Freedom to travel, and freedom to search for the life you want to live.
Working with felt is considered an ancient female art in Kyrgyzstan. For generations, felt was a confidante, listening as women expressed their deepest desires, most profound thoughts and aspirations. As they worked and dreamed, their language of colour and patterns connected them to their origins, the unique Kyrgyz landscape and their history.
As Kyrgyz women stitch your Woolenstocks today, their aspiration is to recreate these ancient meanings that have stood the test of time. Making your slippers earns them a living, yes. But they are also pouring all their skill, vision and talent into your slippers to make them beautiful – just for the love of it.
Do you find joy in making beautiful things? When did you last make something just for the love of it?