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Fantastic Kasuti Embroidery Work SareeBy Expert Author: menaka poonam
The history of Kasuti dates back to the Chalukya period.The name Kasuti is derived from the words Kai (meaning hand) and Suti (meaning cotton), indicating an activity that is done using cotton and hands. The women courtiers in the Mysore Kingdom in the 17th century were expected to be adept in 64 arts, with Kasuti being one of them. It is also said that the Lambani clan left their traditional home of Rajasthan and settled down in Karnataka and brought the Kasuti craft along with them. Sarees embroidered with Kasuti were expected to be a part of the bridal trousseau of which one saree made of black silk with Kasuti embroidery called Chandrakali saree was of premier importance.
Kasuti work involves embroidering very intricate patterns like gopura, chariot, palanquin, lamps and conch shells. Locally available materials are used for Kasuti. The pattern to be embroidered is first marked with charcoal or pencil and then proper needles and thread are selected. The work is laborious and involves counting of each thread on the cloth. The patterns are stitched without using knots to ensure that both sides of the cloth look alike.Different varieties of stitches are employed to obtain the desired pattern. Some of the stitches employed are Ganti, Murgi, Neyge and Menthe. Ganti is a double running stitch used for marking vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, Murgi is a zig-zag stitch, Neyge is a running stitch and Menthe is a cross stitch resembling fenugreek seeds.
Kasuti work has grown beyond its traditional boundaries to be used in other dress materials like the Mysore silk saree. A Lambani Kasuti centre was set up in Hubli by the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Karnataka to encourage the Kasuti culture and also provide a single roof for the Lambani women to showcase their craft. However Kasuti work is suffering from poor patronage with not many people willing to take the craft seriously; an indication of which is the closure of the Karnataka Kasuti classes by the JSS college in Dharwad.
Kasuti, stemming from the words kai meaning hand, and suti meaning cotton, is the traditional embroidery of Karnataka. Exquisitely carved sculptures embellishing temples in the land, are believed to have inspired kasuti as women embroidered religious motifs – like temple gateways, vehicles of deities, lamp pillars, plant holders of holy basil, chariots and palanquins – on cloth. Apart from sacred motifs, birds, animals, fruits, trees and flowers are also worked into fine embroideries.
Kasuti involves creating a repertoire of motifs with delicate stitches and detailing. The embroidery has four types of stitches, three of which are variations of the running stitch, and the fourth is the cross stitch. Traditionally, the technique, motifs and nuances of Kasuti were passed down by older women to young girls. This embroidery is done mainly on handloom Irkal sarees.
The motifs here range from architectural designs to a cradle and from an elephant to a squirrel. The main motifs are found to be larger near the pallav as they move downwards in a saree the motifs get smaller and smaller. Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal stitches are used. The motifs have to be completed as the stitching line comes back to fill in the blank spaces. Kasuti basically involves working around the weave. Motifs are not traced on the cloth, but worked by memory and by counting of threads of the fabric to obtain even and neat stitches. As Kasuti is usually done on dark backgrounds with red, orange, purple, green, blue and yellow threads, the effect is always striking.
Unnati Silks, has trendy designs, attractive patterns, in pleasing colours and combinations in its wide collection of kasuti work salwar suits and Sarees, at very reasonable prices.
Unnati is one of the largest Indian ethnic online websites with over 300 varieties of traditional sarees and salwar kameez.Dispatch is within 24 hours of order. Free delivery & COD is provided for retail.Worldwide express shipping caters to almost all countries across the world.
UNNATI SILK PRINTS PVT. LTD, #3-4-360, Vajra Complex, General Bazar (Tobacco Bazar), M.G.Road, Hyderabad-500003.AP,India. 040-64555251 or 97000 57744.
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