Kasuti Embroidery of Karnataka

Kasuti Embroidery of Karnataka

Kasuti embroidery is a special craft practised mainly in Uttara Kanara district or North Kanara district. Its secret lies in the fact that it can be done only by counting the threads of the weft and the warp. There is no possibility of tracing or implanting the design prematurely as outlines. With considerable dexterity, an ordinary sewing needle is used to create a variety of designs with coloured threads on the cloth. The embroidery is done only by women. The two kinds of stitching are gavanti (line or double running stitch) and murgi (zig-zag lines done with a darning stitch). The two sides are neat and identical. Negi is the ordinary running stitch used in large designs, creating a woven design effect. Menthi is a cross-stitch used for architectural patterns. This embroidery is done mainly on handloom irkal saris.The motifs here range from architectural designs to a cradle and from an elephant to a squirrel. The main motifs are religious and are found to be larger near the pall; as they move downwards in a sari 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. Coorg has its own embroidery which is like Kasuti. In this the cross-stitch and the line or double running stitches are combined. The motifs are religious or taken from everyday life.

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