The art of leather working

Karakalpaks widely used leather products made using different techniques. Hide embossment was very expressive on stirrup underlining – tebengi. They were impressed in a form then engraved or processed with small stamps. The ancient saddles from embossed leather with bone incrustations (ak-basli-er) were remarkable examples of Karakalpakstan leather working. Embroidery was also used. For example, silk threads decorated belly bands (zhipek-zhona), copper wires were used for the adornment of teapots, cup cases (shini-kap) and shoes (zerli-geuish). Motif sewing was mainly used on shanash – long trapezoidal bags for flour, cereals and fried millet. The shanash base was made of leather or white fabric. Black felt cloth or leather pieces were often used for motif patterns. The patterns were geometric or horn-shaped.