Caring for your Shyrdak
Native to Kyrgyzstan, the shyrdak is a distinctive wool rug that is both beautiful and functional. The shyrdak is an integral part of nomadic life in Kyrgyzstan as it is used to decorate and insulate portable homes known as yurts. These story-telling rugs are also presented as gifts and included in dowries.
To create intricate shyrdaks, wool is sheered from sheep, washed, dried, dyed, and pressed into sheets. The sheets are then cut and stitched together to create beautiful patterns quilted onto a large wool base producing a high-quality, long-lasting rug. The top layer, typically merino wool, is soft and easy to clean while the bottom layer provides insulation and a rigid base. Upon these top layers, the patterns and color combinations represent motifs and stories as written by the Kyrgyz designers.
Shyrdaks last for decades with proper care.
- Shake the rug outdoors to remove dirt and debris.
- Vacuum on a low setting without the brush attachment to reduce fraying. It is recommended to test vacuuming on a small corner of the rug first. A lint roller picks up more stubborn dirt.
- To remove small stains, soak a sponge in soapy water and rub gently at the stain.
- For periodic deep cleaning of dyed shyrdaks, we recommend contacting a professional rug cleaner. Be sure to ask if they have experience cleaning felt rugs.