In order to make felt from the crinkly hair of a sheep, raw wool needs to be washed, combed and pressed several times as well as optionally colored. Also the processing of raw leather – a waste product of the animal husbandry, which is widespread in rural Kyrgyzstan – is a weeklong process including steps like cleaning, cutting and tanning. But then in our workshops is “where the magic happens”.
With fine fingers…
The first workshop with Elniza and co is where the artistic patterns are sewn onto the felt. Firstly, the felt is cut out properly, then the outlines are drawn by hand. Afterwards the pattern is sewn onto the felt with an embroidery machine. This step requires skilled fingers, because the embroidery machine needs to be steered accurately to the millimeter. Finally, the sewer hides the open seams in the felt with a special needle. The entire process of making one pattern can take up to four hours or more depending on size and complexity.
… and strong grip
Once or twice a week, the patterns are brought to the leather workshop. Here, Artur and his team are working on cutting and sewing layers of felt and leather together, embossing the logos and finally grinding the edges. In the past, they were making belts, covers for notebooks or wallets here, now our sleeves for laptops, tablets and smartphones have been added.
And if everything fits, the handmade label is added and the finished sleeve starts the journey to you.