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Why Original Yurts?
Unlike most of the re-sellers of Mongolian Gers (yurts) outside of Mongolia, our company is a maker of this beautiful product. Therefore, we know where every single part of our yurts come from and can guarantee the quality of our products.
Ensuring good quality of our product is more important to us than selling more yurts. In order to focus on quality rather than quantity, we do not sell at the local market and produce a limited number of high-quality yurts. Although it is not easy to distinguish good and poor quality yurts when the yurts are new and shiny with fresh paints, bad quality starts to show after use of only for a few months. The yurt quality depends greatly on the quality of the material used. Here we explain briefly what you should consider in buying a yurt and why we excel in these areas.
We buy wood imported from Russia. Siberia has a huge forest reserve with one out of every five trees on the entire Earth is in Siberia. In contrast, Mongolia does not have a rich forest reserve with only 7.8% of its territory is covered by forest. (See here a map showing forest resources of Siberia and Mongolia). Mongolia’s ecosystem is fragile, and illegal timbering for construction and household consumption is already causing great damages to the environment. Although buying imported wood increases our production cost, we do this for several reasons:
- To reduce our environmental impact, avoiding to cut trees where the forest resource is scarce. However, this does not mean we avoid our environmental responsibility; we plant every spring & autumn hundreds of woods in Mongolia, in areas where planting is most needed to preserve the environment or to reduce desertification. In contrast to some yurt re-sellers in North America & Europe, who makes an unsubstantiated claim to planting some trees for every yurt they sell just by giving money to an NGO, we plant the trees ourselves.
- To avoid using illegal timber cut from within Mongolia. Almost all other yurt producers procure their wood from a local market, most of the wood sold there are cut illegally, for example, by cutting several orders of magnitude more timbers than permitted by the licenses, if any, issued to them.
- To have a steady supply of wood at the volume we need to meet the demand for our yurts
We air-dry the wood keeping it outside for 1-2 years.
If necessary, we put the wood in a kiln that dry wood by circulating hot air in a tightly sealed compartment. With these processes, we dry wood until the moisture content is about 6%-7%. If the wood is dried below this level of moisture content, the wood breaks easily during production. But it is most essential to dry the wood until the suitable level when the yurt is to be used outside of Mongolia. All kinds of problems arise in a humid climate, including cracks and mold when the wood is not dried well. Almost any other climate is not as dry as the Mongolian climate. Even a yurt made from wet wood dries up quickly during the first few months of use in Mongolia. Therefore, the yurt moisture content is not checked seriously for yurts sold in the local market. The local producers do not even have wood moisture meters. All re-sellers of Mongolian yurt overseas buy their yurt from local producers who also supply for the local market. They do not actually know the moisture content of the wood used in their yurts. When the yurt wood parts have fresh paint, it is difficult to know for non-professional whether the wood is wet or not, and everything looks just fine. But the problem would start to arise soon when you use the yurt in a non-Mongolian climate condition. It usually starts with a problem with the door closing, then escalates to other issues such as mold, cracks, and glue fails. When you buy a yurt from us, you get assurance that the wood is properly dried to prevent all these issues.
Felt & Insulation
Felt insulation is what makes the yurt warm during cold Mongolian winters. Making felts from sheep wool is a craft of thousands of years. Because yurts covered with felt were so ubiquitous, Mongolia was referred to as “the felt nation” in some historical documents. As yurts are thousands of years old, so are the felt making technology. Yurts are still ubiquitous in Mongolia, and there still are many people in Mongolia who know the traditional technology of making the felts. Felts are hand made by the herders, and there are a number of small workshops that produce felt using traditional technology. Felt insulation supplied from these producers are of low cost. That is why they are on most of the yurts exported by other local producers. But these felt are not suitable for use in the non-Mongolian climate. The small felt producers do not wash the wool properly to remove the bad smell inherent in sheep wool. When the yurt is used in a humid climate, the felt emits an unpleasant odor, which can get quite extreme in some cases.
We use in our yurts felt made on special order to the largest carpet producer in Mongolia. Felt produced on special order to this company is several times more expensive than the felt supplied by small, household-level producers. However, it is money well spent because the felt made this way does not emit an unpleasant odor. This is because the wool for felt is washed at a similar level as wool for carpet.
On top of the felt insulation, our yurts have radiant barrier insulation (reflective insulation). This works by reflecting heat from outside away from the yurt. When the wool felt and the radiant barrier insulation are used together, they provide an unbeatable shield from the outside temperature. Felt insulation prevents heat transfer through conduction, while the radiant barrier insulation prevents the transfer of heat through radiation. Conduction and radiation are two of the three channels that transfer heat or cold. The third channel – convection – is at work when hot air moves up and cold air moves down because hot air is denser and heavier than hot air. The third channel is dealt with the use of a stove and/or an air conditioner. Both can be effectively used in our yurts.
We use exterior grade, water-proof glue imported from the U.S for doors and windows and the crown (skylight) as these are the parts that are exposed to rain. We selected the particular glue we use based on the results of a test run for several types of glue including three brands of polyurethane glues. During the test, we glued the wood we use for the yurts and submerging them for a few weeks. The glue we are using now proved to be the strongest in the test.
Most of the local producers use generic glue as waterproof glues are not sold in the local market in Mongolia.
We use lead-free paint that meets the standards of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. These are mostly paints imported from South Korea. Almost all local producers use Chinese paint that has lead content much higher than required by the U.S, EU, and Japanese standards.
♦ High walls: Our yurts have about 8 inches higher walls than typical Mongolian yurts.
♦ Operable windows: We offer models with windows that can be opened and closed to allow air circulation. The same cannot be said for the “windows” in yurt produced in Mongolia, and many “modern” yurts.
♦ Thick and sturdy wood parts: Among Mongolian yurts, our yurts have the thickest and sturdiest wood parts. Wood components in our yurt have on average 30% thicker than Mongolian yurts supplied by the intermediaries.
♦ Waterproof design: Our yurts are waterproof . The skylight is waterproof even without having to use the waterproof cover (“urkh”) while parts of it can be opened to allow for air circulation.
♦ You may find prices that are slightly lower than ours, but please note that all Mongolian yurts are NOT created equally. There are lots of poor quality yurts produced for lower segments of the local market in Mongolia, and somehow found their ways out of Mongolia. Similarly, if the yurt offered elsewhere is priced similar to ours, that does not necessarily mean that their quality matches ours. All other sellers of Mongolian yurts are essentially the middlemen buying low quality yurts cheap in Mongolia, and selling outside Mongolia at big margin. We are the producer in Mongolia who produces only for export markets, and sells to the world without using any intermediary. We guarantee the best value for money for the product quality we offer.
♦ Our yurts have many features that are either unavailable or requires extra cost when you buy from other sellers. These include:
- Reflective insulation
- Full plexiglass skylight
- Double, high quality felt insulation
- Operable windows in various options
- Heavy-duty canvass outer cover
These features come as standard on our yurts. When you buy from us, you get these features free or at very competitive prices, instead of paying for the profit to the intermediary. Remember, our yurts are priced competitively despite have these features as standard.
♦ As we are the producer of the yurt, we are able to accommodate custom orders, and offer significant discounts depending on the size of the order.
♦ Some of the foreign-owned yurt re-sellers claim to know Mongolian gers better than Mongolians. They criticize the way of the yurt (ger) producing in Mongolia, which is a craft with thousands of years of tradition. Yet, they make a profit by selling essentially the same product that is sold at the local Mongolian market. In contrast, we follow the time-honored tradition of yurt making, while seeking improvement by applying the latest advances in technology, material and design dedicated to making yurts suitable for uses outside of Mongolia.
♦ We are a business owned by Mongolians. Most of the profits from the business stay and re-invested back to the business by improving technology, material, health and safety at the workspace. The same cannot be said in case of other yurt sellers that are often non-Mongolians coming to Mongolia to buy low-quality yurts cheap and sell at a big margin. While they boast about selling hundreds of yurts over many years, the local producers they buy from in Mongolia remains with the ramshackle workspace hazardous to the employee health and safety.