Living in Bayan Olgii, Inaa is a seasoned Kazakh embroiderer. Our specifications to Inaa relate only to size of product and certain selections of colours - after that she is the most creative free form embroiderer we know. No layout; no marked out design – just a square or rectangle of material and all the embroidery simply flows on to the material. Inaa is now starting to produce embroidery combining new embroidery, pieces of old embroidery (from old wall hangings) into picture art, each one telling a story of Kazakh life.
Made from the Heart
Our Slipper Cooperative some 175km up the train line from Ulaanbaatar. Starting with quality merino fleece the ladies card it and turn it into felt. Then they cut the design or mould the felt and then colour depending on the type of slipper. Finally they add the leather soles, stitching designs on the felt and fastenings as required. Slipper boot fastenings are made from sheep ankle bones and leather strips.
Asylmura – Fine Kazakh Embroidery
This is a family run company (Gul & Adilbek) who started business 6 years ago to produce high quality Kazakh Embroidered products. All embroidery is done by hand in the far west of Mongolia. The embroidered pieces are then finished as bags, hangings and cushion covers just outside of Ulaanbaatar. In any year there are never more than 10 items of the exact same thread combinations / placements on one product line. This family also takes old damaged wall hangings and recycles them into a variety of purses and bags – some come from hangings more than 40 years old.
Uyunga - Fine Artist at Work on Silk
Uyunga creates beautiful pictures on silk using German Silk Paints. She currently makes scarves in various sizes and ties for the gents. Every scarf is unique and a new adventure as she explores new scenes and new designs stimulated by nature and the vastness of Mongolia.
Following the Blue Eyes
Our Knitting and Spinning cooperative live and work about 1 hour from the capital. They were trained by Finnish Missionaries a few years ago and now have a thriving cooperative. They hand spin camel and yak yarn for sale through Mary & Martha. This yarn comes from a Yak Herders cooperative in the mid west of Mongolia and from camel herders in the Gobi. FBE also do fine hand knits (Stoles and scarves) from factory spun Camel, Yak and Cashmere.
Kind Hearted Mothers
A foundation was set up by the Japanese to support single mums; to give them work / income and to help educate their children. Mary & Martha primarily buy “mini animals” made from felt. Some colours are dyed; others are natural and some from bark and onions. Kind Hearted Mothers also makes camel scarves that they dye in multi colours after knitting.
Believer's Fellowship - Arkhangai Felt Makers
Artis Altai - From the Far West Gobi