Kasuti embroidery from Karnataka
Tejaswini, S.Ajjewadeyarnath Shubhas Chouk
Doddapet, Ranebennur 581115, Haveri Dist., Karnataka
Ph: 9731744589 / 9739709888
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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