Unique Leather Mosaic from Kazan
Leather mosaic craft created by Turkic nomads in Iron Ages, reached its zenith in the 18 – 19th centuries when the skilled and resilient Kazan (Volga) Tatars of then Russian Empire (now, Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia ) refined and finessed it to become a true art, the art of delicate combination of soft leather and Tatar ethnic patterns designed in mosaic manner and meticulously stitched together by hand.
The “jigsaw” pieces of colorful mosaic patterns are attached to each other from the inside with special Kazan stitch that looks like embroidery from the outside.
Widely popular and famous across Russia, Europe and Asia in the 19-20th centuries so-called Kazan or Tatar boots (chiteks) are crafted using the leather mosaic technique.
During the period of Soviet Union and after its collapse, many folk arts of numerous ethnic minorities including the Leather Mosaic had experienced hard times.
Recent years brought great interest and attention to the world to craftsmanship and authentic crafts: The Leather Mosaic has been slowly gaining followers, supporters and admirers. Much still needs to be done to preserve, revive, and popularize the unique art of Tatar Leather Mosaic.
This UniqueLeatherMosaic.com website is aimed to:
- introduce to English-speaking audience the unique authentic technique;
- promote the art and find supporters;
- popularize this art in particular (and handwork, in general) to young people; to encourage them to consider craftsmanship for career;
- explain the importance of preservation of authentic and endangered arts;
- introduce new places, like Tatarstan, to broader English-speaking audience
This website is an attempt to summarize all available information about Tatar Leather Mosaic (that exists in Tatar and Russian languages only) and to present it for English-speaking audience. The information on the website is gathered, translated, interpreted and arranged by huge fans of Tatar Leather Mosaic: Chulpan, Ideliya and Rafik.
We find that the art of leather mosaic is not as appreciated and popular as it should be. If you find Tatar leather mosaic interesting, promising, and exceptional, please share it with the world!!
Feel free to contact us for more information about this art!