Emil Gatev was born in 1971 in the Balkan Mountain town of Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He became interested in working with leather in his early twenties. By 1995 he had set up his own workshop and there he began to turn his hobby into a profession.

In 2000 Emil became a member of IILG (International Internet Leathercraft Guild), (www.iilg.org) . Since then his work has become more specialized in leather carving and in the use of color and texture in leather. All the while he has studied advanced methods of leather carving from his colleagues around the world, applying increasing skill to both traditional and his own unique designs.

In 2004 he moved his workshop to Tryavna, a small tourist town nestled on a picturesque river in the Balkan foothills. There many crafts and arts flourish, inspiring Emil's elegant designs in belts, wallets and leather-bound picture frames, as well as encouraging him to explore new techniques, tools and ideas with other craftsmen.

He has taken part in many exhibitions and craft shows in Bulgara and has shown his work in several IILG international contests. He has won four prizes in international guild competition.


Emil Gatev's Workshop in Tryavna.
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