In all corners of the world, people decorate and enliven their environment with fabric. Whether it's in rural Southwest China, urban Tokyo, the Indian subcontinent, southern France, or Nebraska's Sandhills, quiltmakers have constructed domestic textiles, decorative objects, and works of art to improve their lives and surroundings. Central Asia is no different.

For Central Asia's traditionally nomadic peoples, bedding took on particular importance in the home. Matresses—usually made of quilted patchwork—were used at night, then folded and displayed in the decorative bedding pile (jük), along with pillows and bolsters. Urban dwellers, too, presented their folded and stacked bedding on painted metal or wooden trunks, which often resided in specially-formed niches along the wall. Other objects in the home featured patchwork, as well, adding pattern and color to domestic life. Similarly, traditional clothing incorporated patchwork and quilting, lending it beauty, practicality, and amuletic protection