Crimean Tatar embroidery is a unique cultural phenomenon

February 7, 2023

Embroidery in the Crimean Tatar style is, first of all, incredible beauty, which is created in a combination of technology and symbols, the context of which is familiar to every Crimean Tatar.

Crimean Tatar embroidery is a unique cultural phenomenon with distinctive features. This art clearly manifested the historical and cultural heritage of the Crimea, which concentrated the spiritual experience of many peoples who lived for centuries on the peninsula and took part in the ethnogenesis of the Crimean Tatars.

For centuries, masters and craftswomen have been engaged in embroidery, but it is the Crimean Tatars who perceive embroidery not only as a tribute to traditions, but also as a real ritual with which all life is connected. While the culture of the Crimean Tatars developed, it was able to preserve its own unique features, carefully hidden from destruction and transmitted from father to son and from mother to daughter.

What is a golden stitch?

Such a phenomenon as embroidery with gold threads has passed into the cultural heritage of the Crimean Tatars. This stitch uses a technique called mikhlama, often making a two-thread stitch so that the pattern on the velvet looks good on both sides. Preliminary use of cotton and silk flooring, more often – from cardboard.

Bags, clothes, kitchen rags, blankets were decorated with gold – in a word, everything that allowed you to embroider on yourself. In the Crimean Khanate, saddlecloths for horses and camping tents of khans were also decorated with mikhlama. This work was done by men, it was very difficult.

Even in the Middle Ages, there were professional guild associations of embroiderers kezadzhi, in which men were engaged in embroidery. Guild organizations were located in every major city of the Crimea, as well as in Bakhchysarai. Embroidery acquired the most widespread scope among the people, and it was mainly women who were engaged in it.

Also, the golden stitch is used in such techniques as telli (decoration of tablecloths and bedspreads) and kasnak (decoration of satin carpets) and many others. Instead of gold threads, you can also use metal or copper threads, the main thing is how it will look at the end. The pattern primarily demonstrates the skill and taste of the performer or performer.

Often they depict everything related to the theme of vegetation: flowers, fruits, various plants, or they take a marine theme – where without it? In general, all ornaments are divided into: floral, geometric, architectural, zoomorphic, epigraphic and mixed. All of them can act in symbiosis with each other, giving the image its own, unique look.

In order to master the Crimean Tatar embroidery, you need a lot of effort and patience, but the result is an incredible beauty of the product.

Photo: Mamut Churlu, Zarema Mustafaeva, Hatidje Yunusova, Alime Huseynova, Maire Luman and from open Internet sources.