One of my commenters, Sharon, requested more information on Kantha embroidery. I think she will be very happy with this post! I found my information through Deepa’s blog, which has a nice section on Indian embroidery (other embroidery too, but I was looking for Kantha embroidery specifically). The main stitch in Kantha embroidery is running stitch. It sounds very simple but the designs are amazingly complex. The picture to the left is from Wikipedia’s article on Kantha.
Deepa wrote three posts on Kantha (Nakshi Kantha-An Art Unparalleled, Rediscovering Kantha Embroidery, Decoding Kantha Embroidery). She also sent me to the Mridula School of Embroidery and Fashion Design, which created one hundred and ninety-nine video tutorials about Indian embroidery on Youtube. Their Kantha embroidery section includes three videos showing someone stitching Kantha embroidery (Kantha 1, Kantha 2, Kantha 3) and an eleven video how-to-do-Kantha series:
- Introduction (contains a brief text overview followed by many examples of Kantha embroidery). Here are some screenshots:
This is followed by a number of stitch demonstration videos, which are very clear videos of someone working the given stitch from the beginning to cutting the thread off. They are set to background music, and there is no speaking.
- Jod stitch
- Bejod stitch
- Paichano stitch
- Tara booti stitch
- Kantha booti stitch
- Charki booti stitch
- Dhaner sheesh stitch
- V shaped strips of Dhaner sheesh
- Dhaner sheesh on motif and leaves (no stitch demonstration, just embroidery samples)
- Demonstration of feather and herringbone stitch: The video states that feather stitch is mostly used as a decorative stitch in border designs. Herringbone stitch is sometimes used as filling for petals and leaves instead of running stitch.
Finally, here are a few of Deepa’s other Indian embroidery tutorials (each photo is linked to the tutorial):