Unlike most of the re-sellers of Mongolian Gers (yurts) outside of Mongolia, we are producer of this beautiful product. Therefore, we know where every single part of our yurts come from, and can guarantee 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 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 few months. The yurt quality depends greatly on the quality of 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. Russian Siberia has a huge forest reserve with one out of every five trees on entire Earth is in Siberia. In contrast, Mongolia does not have 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 eco system is fragile, and illegal timbering for construction and fuel for fire 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 a 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 steady supply of wood at the volume we need to meet the demand for our yurts
Next, we air-dry the wood keeping it outside 1-2 years.
If necessary, we put the wood in a kiln that dry wood by circulating hot air in tightly sealed compartment. With these process, 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 problem arise in humid climate, including cracks and mold, when wood is not dried well. Almost any other climate is not as dry as Mongolian climate. Even a yurt made from wet wood dries up quickly during first few months of use in Mongolia. Therefore, yurt moisture content is not checked seriously for yurts sold in 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 in non-Mongolian climate condition. It usually starts with 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 from 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 of 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 knows 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 the 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 using in 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 humid climate, the felt emits 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 unpleasant odor as these cheap felt do. This is because the wool for felt is washed at similar level as wool for carpet.
When the yurts are to be used in tropical climate, we offer an optional radiant barrier 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 unbeatable shield from outside temperature. Felt insulation prevents from transfer of heat through conduction, while the radiant barrier insulation prevents from 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 use of a stove and/or an air conditioner. Both can be effectively used in Mongolian yurts.
We use marine grade, water proof glue imported from the U.S for doors and windows and the crown (skylight) as these are the parts are exposed to rain. We selected the particular glue we use based on 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 at local market in Mongolia.
We use lead free paint that meets the standards of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. These are typically paints imported from South Korea. Almost all local producers use Chinese paint that have lead content much higher than required by the U.S, EU, and Japanese standards.