embroidery from Karnataka
S.Ajjewadeyarnath Shubhas Chouk
Ranebennur 581115, Haveri Dist., Karnataka
October 28, 2010
The craftsmen involved in kasuti
embroidery of Karnataka, have no recourse to external aids like tracing
the design and build the motifs even as he is working the stitches.
Design depends on the texture of the cloth, as working the embroidery involves
the counting of threads. Four distinct stitches are practised in
the craft: the 'gavnti' or double running stitch, the 'murgai' or zigzag
running stitch, the 'negi' or ordinary running stitch and the 'menthi'
or cross stitch. Kasuti, which flourished in Chalukya and Vijayanagar
kingdoms of the 15th and 16th centuries, is rich in symbolic motifs of
court life and temple ceremonials. Traditionally, the needle work
is done by the women of the region for their personal use, on hand-woven
saris. 'Irkali' saris as they are called are woven with 9-10 inches
of warp thread left loose at the pallav end. The craftsmen uses these
extra threads to work the embroidery, the colours for the work being taken
from the base itself. The total effect, when complete, though rich,
is very beautiful and subtle.
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