Kasuti Embroidery Overview
Kasuti embroidery is a traditional form of embroidery originating in Karnataka, India. The word “Kasuti” is derived from the Kannada language, which means “cotton” (Kai – meaning hand and Suti – meaning cotton). As the name suggests, Kasuti embroidery is done entirely by hand using cotton thread on a cotton or silk fabric.
Kasuti embroidery is characterized by intricate geometric patterns, including triangles, squares, and circles, created using a combination of straight and zigzag stitches. The designs are typically worked on the borders of sarees, dresses, and other clothing items and are known for their vibrant colors and fine details.
Traditionally, Kasuti embroidery was practiced by rural women in Karnataka as a form of artistic expression and to embellish their clothing. However, over time, it has gained popularity as a commercial embroidery style and is now widely recognized as an art form in its own right.
Today, Kasuti embroidery is widely practiced in Karnataka and has been recognized by the Indian government as a Geographical Indication (GI) product. The craft has also been revived and popularized by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government initiatives to preserve and promote traditional Indian handicrafts.
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How to Do Kasuti Embroidery? Simple Steps
Kasuti embroidery is a beautiful and intricate form that requires patience and skill to master. Here are the basic steps for doing Kasuti embroidery:
- Prepare the fabric: Choose a cotton or silk fabric for your embroidery project and wash it thoroughly to remove dirt or starch. Iron the fabric to remove any wrinkles.
- Choose the design: Kasuti embroidery typically features geometric patterns, including triangles, squares, and circles. You can find Kasuti embroidery designs in books or online or create your own.
- Transfer the design: Using a water-soluble fabric pen or pencil, trace the design onto the fabric. Make sure the design is centered and straight.
- Thread the needle: Choose a thin cotton thread in a color that complements your fabric. Thread the needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.
- Types of Stitch in Kasuti Embroidery
- Begin stitching: Kasuti embroidery uses a combination of straight and zigzag stitches. The most common stitches used in Kasuti embroidery are the gavanti stitch, the murage stitch, and the menthi stitch.
- Gavanti stitch: The gavanti stitch is a straight stitch used to create the design’s outlines. Start by bringing the needle up through the fabric at the starting point of the design. Take a small stitch forward and bring the needle back down through the fabric. Repeat this process, making sure to keep the stitches uniform in size and distance.
- Muragi stitch: The murage stitch is a zigzag stitch used to fill the design. Bring the needle up through the fabric at the starting point of the design. Take a small stitch forward and then take a longer stitch diagonally to the left. Bring the needle back down through the fabric and repeat the process, making sure to keep the stitches uniform in size and distance.
- Menthi stitch: The menthi stitch is a zigzag stitch that creates a textured effect. Bring the needle up through the fabric and take a small stitch forward. Take a longer stitch diagonally to the left and bring the needle back through the fabric. Repeat this process, making sure to keep the stitches uniform in size and distance.
- Finish the embroidery: Once you have completed the design, tie off the thread on the back of the fabric and trim any excess.
Kasuti embroidery requires patience and practice to master, but with time and dedication, you can create beautiful and intricate designs.