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Old World Craftsmanship
Doing Business The Right Way
Each pair of Kyrgies is hand made by Kyrgyz artisans using felting techniques that are centuries old in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Italian merchants have sold English wool to desert dwellers from Africa for over 1,000 years. People in hot climates have always worn wool because it evaporates moisture and breathes. Wool fibers are one fifth the width of a human hair, and those fibers matted together contain little air pockets. Those air pockets keep your feet cool in summer and warm in winter.
Felt is thought to be the oldest textile in civilization. The oldest known examples of felt come from Turkey, where felt applique was found on cave paintings dating back to 6000 B.C. Wool felt has been used in boots in Russia and Scandinavia for centuries, was a common textile in the Roman Empire, and was the material people along the silk road made into Yurts, which they lived in.
The same principles that make wool effective in a warm climate make it ideal for cold times of year. Wool socks are synonymous with keeping your feet warm when it's cold. The ritual of putting on your favorite shoes when you enter the house only enhances that cozy feeling.
Unlike synthetic materials, wool is not concocted in a lab. The wool felt in Kyrgies comes from sheep who live in Kyrgyzstan. They live nice lives up there in the Tien-Shan mountains, eating grass, walking around, taking naps. Once a year, their wool is shorn. That wool gets pressed together with natural soap to make wool felt, the material that makes Kyrgies.
Wool's moisture-wicking properties make it largely immune to odor retention. When your foot sweats, the wool absorbs that moisture then evaporates it into air. Synthetic fibers don't breathe, causing you to sweat. Wearing wool on your feet will keep your feet from sweating, thus keeping them from smelling.
Wool felt is made by hand. It takes our artisans six weeks to make a single pair of Kyrgies, matting together wool fiber with hot water and natural soap, using only their hands and a rolling pin. Each pair of Kyrgies is formed into shape then left to dry on a last. They're durable but lightweight, able to regain their shape no matter what you do to them.
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