Online Workshop Kyrgyz Ala-Kiyiz Felting with Karin Altmann
21.01.2023 and 22.01.2023

Kyrgyz Ala-Kiyiz Felting with Karin Altmann<br>21.01.2023 and 22.01.2023<br>Online Workshop

Online workshop, hosted on Zoom by Karin Altmann

Karin Altmann is an Austrian textile artist and researcher and has been teaching in the Department of Textile Arts at the University of Applied Arts Vienna since 2004. In addition, she initiated a number of transcultural projects with international partners from Kyrgyzstan, Bhutan, Mexico, Japan, Ghana and Mali as well as art projects with children, people with disabilities, refugees and women in psychological and social needs. She is well known for researching the interconnection between art and spirituality, pursued in her 2015 published book, entitled ’Fabric of Life – Textile Arts in Bhutan’, or her earlier thesis on ’Kyrgyz Felt Art in the Context of Nomadism and Shamanism’. Theory and practise always relate to, extend and deepen each other. Her knowledge and skills in felting were transmitted to her through joint practical work with Kyrgyz women during her research time in Kyrgyzstan. In her own work, Karin Altmann has stepped away from traditional Kyrgyz designs, signs and symbols as she feels they are not her right to use. She prefers a simple graphic expression, bringing her passion for natural dyes to her work.

Workshop outline
Focusing on Kyrgyz traditional felting techniques, Karin will offer two workshops in 2023. The first workshop, Kyrgyz Ala-Kiyiz Felting, is a pure felting class and teaches the creation of a seat cushion (40x40 cm) using the Ala-kiyiz technique, in which the patterns are felted, giving them a watercolour-like softness and picturesque quality. In Kyrgyzstan, these felts are mainly used for everyday life, rather than for decoration. As you practice in this small format, you will acquire all the knowledge you need to be able to produce a large carpet yourself. During the workshop Karin will also discuss traditional designs and the meaning of patterns and colours. Because with their patterns and symbolism, Kyrgyz felt carpets form their own language. They combine the intellectual and emotional as well as analytical and intuitive understandings of their producers. The tradition of felting can be seen as a process of life and self-reflection, in which both the meaning of the motives and the thoughts of the practitioner play an important role. Karin will guide you through the creative process, teaching how Kyrgyz felt art has the ability to create images through which the invisible become visible.

Level of experience:
Suitable for beginners and those with some felting experience.

If you are looking for new ways to inspire your felting practice, this is a great opportunity.

A material pack will be sent to participants prior to the workshop containing:

  • Assorted Austrian sheep’s wool in contrasting natural sheep wool colours
  • Instructions (PDF) and the link to a video resource (sent via email)

Additional material list (not provided):

  • 2-3 old towels
  • Bowl (about 2 liters capacity)
  • Vegetable oil soap
  • Thick wooden or plastic stick (diameter approx. 3 cm)
  • Thick cord
  • Scissors for paper and cloth
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Paper, pencil, eraser

Please note: material packs are shipped on an insured, trackable delivery service. Any customs duties, delays, lost or undeliverable packs are the responsibility of the customer. Once a material packs leaves the workshop tutors' hands with a tracking number, the seller has no further obligation to the buyer.

Workshop cancellation policy
All places reserved on workshops are non-refundable.

If you require additional information about this workshop please contact Catherine Harris,


Registration and more information: Selvedge Workshop Karin Altmann

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