Beautiful handmade wool hats, scarfs & more
Cholpon finishing the felting process on a hat
My name is Cholpon Djumabaeva. I was born in Issyk kul, Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia. Ever since I was a small child I helped my family hand make items from sheep wool. Sheep being the dominate food source in my country, sheep wool was easy to obtain to make a variety of items including our homes (Yurts), rugs, hats, scarfs, slippers, ornaments, and accessories. In the early times the Kyrgyz people were nomadic. Following the Silk Road they sold items made from sheep and leather. Many designs of today are taken from Petroglyphs dating back as far as the Bronze Age.
The Capitol of Kyrgyzstan is Bishkek, with a population of 600 thousand people, the elevation at 2000 feet. The Country’s population is 6 million. Kyrgyzstan borders China to the east and Kazakhstan to the west. Like most Cities Bishkek is very busy with many modern shops where one can buy most anything. Except for walking taxis are the way to get around the City. The City also has these mega block bazaars where one can buy many hand made items. Fresh produce, home made bread, other products and many ethnic restaurants are dotted throughout the area.
Once you are out of the City donkey carts and small trucks still carry products to market. You will see people selling items along the road, fish, fresh produce, bread, potatoes, sheep, and handmade items. They also sell their national drink Kumis which is made from horse’s milk.
A four hour drive takes you to where I was born, Issyk Kul. Issyk Kul at 5000 feet has many small villages. Chopon-Ata where my family lives is near the lake. The lake is 115 miles long and 45 miles wide, a big tourist area. In the background are the Tien Shan Mountain Range where snowcapped peaks reach up to 23000 feet. We call this area Little Switzerland.
Jon Ortgiesen is working on wool!
On November 11th 2004 I moved to the United States to marry my love Jon Ortgiesen from Gig Harbor, Washington.
Taking from my heritage as a maker of felt items we now have a small business called Kyrgyzkonnection. We design, make and sell our wool items at the local farmers market, juried art shows, Christmas shows, and County fairs along the Pacific Coast including Canada. We also sell our art products in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado.
We obtain wool from local farmers in our area. We prepare the wool and felt it to make our product. We also buy already felted wool. We use a combination of chain stitch machine and hand stitch. Some of our beautiful handmade scarfs are a combination of silk and wool.
We can make custom made items from wool for example, wool hats and scarfs to match the color of your favorite sports team. We also sell handmade robes with beautiful designs on them.
Our hats are one of a kind, will last forever. They are very warm in the winter. Because they are made of wool they breath, provide a cooling affect in the summer. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer.
Working with wool is my passion. I am constantly improving my skills by learning new techniques in felt making by some of the worlds finest fibre artists.
What we have on display are a few of our items made from wool and silk. If you are interested in purchasing something please let us know. We will be happy to provide you the cost of the item including tax and shipping costs.
Most of our typical hats hats are made from sheep wool. But we have more creative wool hats that are integrated with other fibers such as silk and bamboo.