Posts Tagged 'kasuti'

kasuti lesson 3

Posted by on 01 Sep 2010 | Category:

This lesson will teach you how to work on an even weave cloth. All the four stitches of Kasuti can be easily done over aida fabric. The fabric itself act as a graph sheet and we have to just tranfer the design directly. Since we have already dealt with Gavanti and Muragi in Kasuti lesson 2, I will illustrate Neygi and Menthi styles of stitches here.

Referring  Kasuti lesson 1  would be good before proceeding.

kasuti_lesson2_0   This is a traditional pattern of a lamp. Each colored cell in the graph represents a cross stitch or the menthi stitch of kasuti.
kasuti_lesson2_1   kasuti_lesson2_2
Fig 1: I begin stitching the lamp from the bottom.   Fig 2: I chose to do the birds on either side of the lamp with a contrasting colored thread. There is no rule where to begin the stitching from. So, this time, I began from the top.
kasuti_lesson2_3   Fig 3: The finished pattern would look like the illustration on the left side.
kasuti_lesson2_4      Fig 4: To border the pattern and for the sake of an example, I have used the neygi stitch below the lamp pattern. We take the needle up and down the fabric with running stitches in a designed patern.Refer Pattern Darning lessons to understand neygi in detail.
kasuti_lesson2_5   Fig 5: The finished pattern looks like this. 🙂

kasuti lesson 2

Posted by on 10 Aug 2010 | Category:

This lesson will teach you how to work kasuti on a plain fabric with a traced design. While using this method, the two stitches that can be done easily are Gavanti and Muragi.

Here, you will see an illustration of a simple pattern using a combination of Gavanti and Muragi. This lesson will also demonstrate elaborately on how to deal with the logic of the ‘stitch route’. This will be especially helpful to beginners to embroidery. For the more experienced, they can just breeze through to get an idea.

You need to refer Kasuti lesson 1 before starting with this lesson.

 kasuti_lesson1_0   kasuti_lesson1_1
Fig 1: Trace out the pattern from the graph paper onto the fabric using a carbon tracing paper or any other tracing medium.
kasuti_lesson1_2     kasuti_lesson1_3
Fig 2: In Kasuti, you always return to where you begin from. So, keep the centre of the pattern as the common point and always begin from there.

Start holbein stitch from A (centre of the pattern) and work upwards to B.  From B, take a left turn. Take yet another left turn from C.

  Fig 3: Everytime you reach a point with a choice to go either left or right, the trick is to keep finishing all the lines/patterns on the left first and then move to right. This is a simple logic to keep any confusion at rest.

So, start the return journey and when you reach back at C, move to the right side.

kasuti_lesson1_4   kasuti_lesson1_5
Fig 4: Once you finish with the right side and return to the point B, continue the journey upward unitl you reach the last point, D.You will see that the patterns hanging on the left side is finished.   Fig 5:  Start the return journey.Just a simple note: diamonds are seen as a split in the main line, and not as a pattern in itself. This is the reason why the diamonds are finished during the return journey.
 kasuti_lesson1_6   kasuti_lesson1_7
Fig 6: Now, we start with the right side of the pattern. Finish up with the diamond, return back downwards. From B, turn to the right. Finish the left part of the hanging pattern first before moving to finishing the right part.   Fig 7: Once you reach back to the point B, continue the return journey downwards till you reach the first diamond.
 kasuti_lesson1_8    kasuti_lesson1_9
Fig 8: Finish up with the diamond.   Fig 9: Return back to the centre, A.
Now we begin the next part of the pattern. Work upward, through the point B till the very end. Keep to the left all the way.
 kasuti_lesson1_10   kasuti_lesson1_11
Fig 10: Begin your return journey and come back to B. Move to the right side of the pattern, but before going all the way up, you have to finish the little diamond shape lying in between. So, take a diversion to where the little arrow points to.   Fig 11: Take the return journey and follow the little arrow to the right and continue to finish up with the remaining pattern.

Now, instead, you can also finish the little diamond on return journey from the right side.

 kasuti_lesson1_12    kasuti_lesson1_13
Fig 12: Continue the return journey downwards.   Fig 13: Finish up  with the diamond and return to the centre. Now, continue with the next line of pattern till the entire design is done in the similar way.
 kasuti_lesson1_14   Fig 14: The completed kasuti pattern would look like this.

Note : This pattern has been borrowed from ‘Traditional Embroideries of India’ by Shailaja D. Naik.

kasuti lesson 1

Posted by on 31 Jul 2010 | Category:

This lesson will deal with the basics of Kasuti. It will give an overview on what stitches are used and how to stitch them. It will also deal with some basic  technical aspects required to design a pattern and how to transfer the designs to the fabric.

Stitches used
Kasuti uses four kinds of stitches for its embroidery. Though three of these four stitches are reversible, Kasuti itself is not essentially a reversible form of embroidery. The use of all these four stitches in a single pattern is not a must. 

The red lines represent stitches made one way (left to right), and the blue lines represent stitches made on the return journey. Click on the stitch names given in the description to  go to their tutorials.

1. Ganti or Gavanti    
kasuti_ganti   This means knot. 
It  is the typical holbein stitch style done in a straight line, either vertically or horizontally or even diagonally.
This stitch is reversible and shows up the same on the front and back of the fabric.
2. Muragi    
 kasuti_muragi   This means twisted.
It is a variation of holbein stitch. It has a ‘zig zag’ nature. This can be made vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. The diagonal pattern, with a ladder like appearance, is used most popularly. Muragi is also used to fill up patterns.
This stitch is reversible and shows up the same on the front and reverse of the fabric.
3. Neygi or Negi    
kasuti_neygi   This means weave.
It is the typical pattern darning stitch. It uses running stitch to make patterns and gives a weaved effect. Neygi is now no longer popularly used in Kasuti hand embroidery, thanks to the weaving machines that do the job.
This stitch is reversible, but they tend to be like mirror images of each other.
4. Menthi    

This means fenugreek.
It uses the typical cross stitch to fill in the patterns or motifs.
This stitch is not reversible. While it shows up like cross fillings on the front of the fabric, the reverse will be just vertical or horizontal, or even diagonal lines.




1. Enlarging and shrinking patterns

kasuti_1     It is easy to enlarge or shrink a pattern to suit our requirement, thanks to the geometrical nature of Kasuti.A very simple pattern has been used to illustrate this.Notice that each line in the second pattern is twice the length of the lines in the first pattern. So, my second pattern is double the size of the first pattern. Mathematically, I have used 1:2 proportion.Similarly, you can use any kind of proportion. This method can be used to shrink the pattern as well.


2. Making borders from ‘buti’

kasuti_buti_1    A ‘buti’ is a small single stand alone pattern. Often, in kasuti, many ‘buti’ are used to sprinkle over a large area. We can also make borders from ‘buti’. 
kasuti_buti_2    The illustration shows how a series of ‘buti’ can be connected to make a border.
You can use your imagination to use patterns to connect the ‘buti’.
The ones shown here is just examples for you to get an idea.


3. Making corners from borders

 kasuti_border_3      kasuti_border_2
 kasuti_border_1    kasuti_border_4
Creating a neat corner is important for kasuti. Here are some examples of how we create borders from the earlier illustrated buti borders.


Transferring the design
We have to keep in mind that Kasuti is a form of counted thread work which can easily be done over even weave fabric today. We can do it over regular fabric too, but with some aid. The three ways of transfering designs from graph to fabric will be dealt with in the subsequent lessons.

1. Tracing from the graph paper
The designs can be traced using a tracing paper directly onto the cloth to be worked on. We need to be careful while stitching so that each corner of the stitch is neatly done and maintained.
2. Even weave cloth
Working on eaven weave cloth does not require transfering of the design directly. The graph can be used as a referal to replicate the design onto the eaven weave cloth.
3. Voile net
This is a cloth net that is used as a replicate for an even weave cloth. We need to attach the net to the pain fabric to work on. The stitch can be now done over this net and cloth with the design on the graph as a referal to replicate. Once the design is done, the voile net can be carefully cut and pulled out leaving the stitched pattern on the plain fabric.

Reference : KASUTI skill training presentation by Avni Varia to Sampark.


Posted by on 31 Jul 2010 | Category:

Also known as : Dharwari Kashidakari

embroidery sample: kasuti

About and History

Kasuti carries an  age old history. Knowing this history  and its contemporary state will help  us to value this embroidery much  more than ever. Using the logics  of basic holbein stitch, cross stitch and darning stitch, kasuti creates  designs that looks ethnic and intricate.

The word ‘Kasuti’ is believed to be a worn out variation of the word ‘Kasheeda’, which means ’embroidery’ in the Persian language. This is  a form of handembroidery done by the women of the villages that borders Maharastra and Karnataka, in India. This embroidery is done particularly in the village called ‘Dharwar’, and hence the alternate name : Dharwari Kashidakari (meaning, embroidery from Dharawar). The specialty of this embroidery is that it is still believed to be exclusively done by women!

This ancient form of embroidery began way back in the 6th- 8th century, during the reign of the Chalukyas. Considering that Kasuti is a derivative of a Persian word, it could be deduced that the Chalukyas had trade with the then Persian empire. It is a counted form of stitching which can easily be done over even weave fabric.

Kasuti uses four different types of stitches – Muragi, Ganti, Menthi and Neygi. These stitches have been discussed in detail with illustrations in Kasuti lesson 1. While Muragi and Ganti styles of stitches follow the holbein stitch logics, Menthi follows the cross stitch pattern. Neygi follows running stitch or the darning style pattern.

Kasuti today
With lack of facilities, proper funding and interest, this form of embroidery had seen a dwindling and maybe near extinction state. Over the past few years, art and culture enthusiasts have tried to attempt to revive this art back to life. Few women from the villages of Karnataka, India, were trained and set to work on and find markets to sell products based on Kasuti. The scenario is believed to look better now.

Traditional patterns involved motifs of animals like elephants,cows, parrots, bulls and peacocks. In fact, the elephant pattern is one of the most important ones of traditional Kasuti designs. Flower patterns were also used occasionally along with the animals and birds. Other most used and favourite traditional patterns were that of chariots, gopurams (indian ornamental tower before a temple), cradles, and tulasi plants (an aromatic herbal plant called Basil, used extensively in indian medicines, and worship).

Kasuti patterns are geometrical in concept and so, also replicate ‘rangoli’ designs. Rangoli is a popular form of floor art in india where finely ground white powder (and sometimes colorful) are used to represent designs. These designs follow a symetrical shape or form. So, to make it short, Kasuti is also used to make symetrical and geometrical shapes to fill or border the clothing

I have divided the Kasuti lessons into four parts. I would suggest you to follow the lessons in its given order to understand the embroidery completely. Lessons 2, 3, and 4 will follow in subsequent weeks. 🙂

Lesson 1 : The basics
Lesson 2 : Illustration on plain fabric
Lesson 3:  Illustration on even weave fabric
Lesson 4:  Illustration of all four stitches
Patterns 1: Kasuti patterns based on Gavanti and Muragi stitches
Patterns 2: Kasuti patterns based on Neygi and Menthi stitches

Reference : KASUTI skill training presentation by Avni Varia to Sampark.

pattern darning: non reversible

Posted by on 28 Jun 2010 | Category:

This kind of pattern is done over fabric that is used only on one side. For instance, a table cloth. Since the reverse side is not so important here, we need not concentrate much on keeping the reverse of the fabric as neat.

I will illustrate using a border design with vertical stitch.

Check Pattern darning: reference for detailed instructions to help you more with the lesson.

1. Fabric and thread-
I have chosen aida cloth (11 count) with anchor thread (6 strands). This thread might not give complete coverage for my design, but will help to illustrate the embroidery.
2. Choosing and planning the pattern-
 I have chosen a vertical stitch border design. All I have to check is if the pattern has any long stitches that needs to be avoided in any kind of pattern darning embroidery.This pattern has some long stitches (more than 5-6 square limit), which is marked in red. So, some corrections in the pattern is needed.
3. Making the pattern workable-
I have made gaps in the diamonds to split the long stitch into two, each lesser than the 5 square limit. The long stitch on the reverse side is left as it is since it is in a 6 square limit.
4. Beginning-
I now start stitching the pattern. The picture illustrates the front of the fabric. I tie a knot at the end of the thread and pass it through the fabric a bit away from the area of embroidery- extreme left bottom corner. Being a vertical pattern, I begin from the bottom(or top). Each column is taken one at a time. Once one column is finished, I turn to begin the next column, as illustrated.
5. When the thread runs out-
pattern_darning_04       pattern_darning_05

When my thread runs out, I leave the loose end, most certainly,on  the reverse. I then take the new thread and leaving a fairly loose bit on, continue with my pattern. In the end, I would tied the loose ends together.

6. Ending-
In the end, all loose threads are tied up.Cut the knot of the beginning thread and weave it into the pattern where the stitches are. Do the same with the loose end of the final thread. So, the reverse would look like this.
7. Finished pattern-
The finished pattern would look like this. 🙂

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