Kasuti: Indian cousin to blackwork

Kasuti is a type of embroidery from Karnataka, India. Like blackwork, it is geometric and worked in double running stitch. However, it is traditionally very brightly colored. I found a few books in the library on the subject, and have worked up some examples (I picked the colors, but they’re bright, so I think they are in line with the style!) I thought this would be interesting to folks that do traditional blackwork, since the motifs and designs are different (even if you worked them in black).

Here is a lotus (it’s not done yet):

A set of borders (I love the little deer at the bottom):

This bird is so cool:

And finally, an elephant (also unfinished):

The two books are Ethnic Embroidery of India, by Usha Shrikant, and Kasuti of Karnatak, by Indira Joshi. Both are really fantastic, but I believe Kasuti of Karnatak may have been a source for the other, and has more kasuti designs since its focus is solely on kasuti.

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17 Responses to Kasuti: Indian cousin to blackwork

  1. AngryRedhead says:

    oh.mah.gosh. If I had something with the blue bird and the pink border in the pic above the bird, I’d be in heaven. I also really like the lotus.

  2. Pingback: Blackwork’s cousin Kasuti · Needlework News | CraftGossip.com

  3. Anita says:

    The lotus motif is either done in red &black or green & red . It’s like blackwork but the motifs depict Indian culture for eg.Temples,elephants,lotus,peacock,deer etc.

  4. Really like the colors you choose.
    My Blackwork class was done in Pink.
    Am new to your site and it is good.

  5. Monique says:

    So charming!! Thank you Hannah
    Monique

  6. Rachel says:

    Love the elephant – please show us the progress!

  7. Elmsley Rose says:

    It IS so similar to blackwork isn’t it, only more …. folkart.
    Congratulations on being featured on Needlework News :-)

    And boy, have you been busy!

  8. Pingback: Kasuti Bluebird | enbrouderie

  9. Anonymous says:

    I would really like to read more about this and find a selection of patterns – unfortunately, I can not seem to fins Kasuti of Karnatak, by Indira Joshi anywhere either new or in used book searches. Do you know where I could find a copy?

  10. Jennifer King says:

    I really love the lotus pattern. Can you please share where you found this specific pattern. Thank you.

  11. It’s nice to know that ethnic Indian Embroidery now has an international fan club.
    Blackwork also seems to have a Russian cousin. Check out this website http://patternmakercharts.blogspot.in/search/label/Russian%20%D0%A0%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9
    It has a lot of old historic pattern books. I stumbled upon it through Pinterest.

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