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  Embroidery, weaving

  Embroidery is one of the most ancient and popular kinds of women's fine art. In the opinion of professor N. Vorobiev, the development of this art were connected with the isolated life of women, who rarely went out and spent their free time doing some needlework. Unlike Russians, the Ukrainians and the Mari, the Tatars didn't use embroidery in clothes, but embellished items of everyday life: towels, napkins, tablecloth, coverlets and window curtains, 'namazlyk's (a rug for prayers). The greater part of these items was connected with designing of the interior of a dwelling.
  Furniture and decoration of a Tatar house had some peculiarities. A house wasn't divided into several rooms or overloaded with furniture; that was why skillfully embroidered bed curtains appeared. The most valuable of the articles of embroidery were preserved in the chests for years and were taken out only in case of great celebrations.
  On the days of weddings a house looked especially smart - everything was embellished with embroidered and woven things of a bride. This custom, demonstrating industriousness and skill of a bride, is still alive in some rural regions.
  The traditions of folk embroidery are preserved in villages also because of the Sabantui holyday - young daughters-in-low give their works to winners of sports competitions and games.Embroidery plays an important role in the rite on the birth of the first child - a young mother gave towels to her relatives and neighbours.
  Embroidery usually was made on the bright saturated cloth - green, yellow, violet, wine coloured. They were embroidered with twisted silk, gilded or silver-plated cord, beads, and pearls. Great attention was paid to ornamental design, which consisted of geometrical and flower motifs. In the composition of blossomed garden, created by needlework women, red poppies and yellow-eyed chamomiles, tulips and pansies.
  Kazan towels embroidered in chain stitch on the white cloth were famous for their original beauty; they were well-known beyond the region boarders.
  Patterned weaving was also widely spread, it was connected with everyday life, and, in fact, was a handicraft. The ornamental design reminds Middle-East and Azerbaijan carpets, while there is no analogy to colour structure (dominating of the red colour and its hues).
  Most Tatar women knew the technique of weaving, but the cloths with some complicated multi-coloured patterns were usually made by special masters, living in every village.

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