Kyrgyz Carpets - Chiy

A chiy is made of reed or grass grown in steppes, where they are collected and dried. The reed itself is strong and being weaved together with colorful wools forms a durable carpet which will serve for a long time and which later on can be decorated or left as it is.

The decoration of the reed is made by a special master – cherber, who with a help of a needle draws patterns on the reeds. After that, every stalk of chiy is wound with colorful wools. Though it is impossible to make the same design as for shyrdaks, yet skillful masters are able to create rather ingenious patterns. As a rule the weaving process takes place outdoors.

The chiy carpets are used differently. The decorative carpets called chyrmagan kanat chiy can be found inside the yurts as some kind of decoration or additional layer of insulation. Another kind called Ashkana chiy separates the yurt to a female part and the rest one.

These carpets are sometimes hung at the entrance of the room as a protection of the fireplace from wind or of the wools left to be dried. They are also laid under thick felt carpets as protection from dampness and humidity. The chiy carpets are also used as a forming press in a weaving process of shyrdak and ala-kyjiz. The grass stalks can also be used for making different kinds of housewares.