kantha


I saw a plain tunic with broad woven border. The border was in cream or half white and woven in black. The shop said it was a Bagh border which was attached to the tunic. They had also done some kantha embroidery in black on the border. This inspired me to design a border with geometric patterns which can be worked with kantha embroidery.
Thought a plain tussar fabric would be ideal for this.

bagh border on coptunic-fabric

bagh border on coptunic-fabric

The yoke pattern

bagh border on coptunic-yoke pattern

bagh border on coptunic-yoke pattern

The sleeve pattern, it is really broad!

bagh border on coptunic-sleeve pattern

bagh border on coptunic-sleeve pattern

These patterns were traced on to cream cotton fabric with yellow carbon. The embroidered yoke-

bagh border on coptunic-y1

bagh border on coptunic-y1

I wanted a black border around the yoke. The embroidered yoke along with black fabric placed on tunic fabric.

bagh border on coptunic-y2

bagh border on coptunic-y2

The embroidered sleeves.

bagh border on coptunic-emb on sleeves

bagh border on coptunic-emb on sleeves

The embroidery was done in black cotton skeins. I used the running stitch on the kantha embroidery to obtain the woven effect. For the fly stitches on both ends of the borders I used four strands and rest of the embroidery was done with two strands.
The tailor added some pin tucks on both sides of the yoke. The detail of the yoke-

bagh border on coptunic-yoke detail

bagh border on coptunic-yoke detail

The tunic-

bagh border on copper tunic

bagh border on copper tunic

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This tunic also as a motif below the yoke borders.

B&B kan-motif pattern

B&B kan-motif pattern

The motif worked with medium blue, dull gold and white threads.

B&B kan-m1

B&B kan-m1

The motif looked like this after working with dark pink thread.

B&B kan-m2

B&B kan-m2

Some more running stitch filling and stem stitch outlines were done with medium blue and light blue threads.

B&B kan-m3

B&B kan-m3

The motif, after working the antique gold beads inside stem stitches.

B&B kan-m4

B&B kan-m4

The completed tunic-
The yoke with printed fabric-

B&B kan-tunic yoke

B&B kan-tunic yoke

The tunic-

B&B tunic

B&B tunic

The sleeves with printed border.

B&B kan-tunic sleeve

B&B kan-tunic sleeve

I wear this tunic with light blue [same shade as the printed fabric base] leggings. I do tend to work with these colours quite often!

The pattern for yoke was similar to the sleeves, except for the dark pink details.

B&B kan-pattern yoke

B&B kan-pattern yoke

Filling done on part of the squares.

B&B kan-y1

B&B kan-y1

Triangles on the border worked with the same blue thread.

B&B kan -y2

B&B kan -y2

After working with light blue thread and dull gold thread. The centre space is for the printed light blue fabric.

B&B kan-y3

B&B kan-y3

The crosses done with dull gold cotton skein were worked with running stitch filling in dark pink thread.

B&B kan-s4

B&B kan-s4

The medium shade blue thread was used for lining the oval shapes over the dark pink circles. These  were worked in stem stitch. light blue thread was worked on other part of the triangles on the squares and the border lines.

B&B kan-s5

B&B kan-s5

Tiny antique beads were added inside the oval shapes. The picture is out of focus here.

B&B kan -s6

B&B kan -s6

After completing the embroidery on the sleeves, they were placed on the printed light blue fabric which will the border the sleeves.

B&B kan -s7

B&B kan -s7

I was inspired by tunics embellished by simple Kantha embroidery of Bengal. This embroidery was done mainly on sleeves and front of the tunic. The chosen tunic fabric was dark blue striped Mangalagiri handloom cotton. I had this block printed light blue fabric, which I used for the sleeve border and yoke.
The sleeves-
A geometrical border was drawn on graph sheet.

B&B kan-sleeve pattern

B&B kan-sleeve pattern

The used two strands of cotton skeins in two shades of blue, gold and dark pink. Kantha embroidery is running stitch worked on various patterns. The work looks like weave at some places. Starting with medium blue,

B&B kan-s-1

B&B kan-s-1

The triangles which form the square are also worked with this blue-

B&B kan-s2

B&B kan-s2

Then moved on to golden colour skein

B&B kan-s3

B&B kan-s3

Today I finished the last few kantha work motifs. The kantha sampler is completed for the time being. Whenever a different type of kantha work is seen, I ‘ll add those to this sampler. I am happy that I was able to make a start on my goal of doing embroidery samplers.
Motifs d

10.run st2-kan m25

Motifs e

10.run st2-kan m26

Motifs f

10.run st2-kan m28

Motifs g

10.run st2-kan m27

Motifs h

10.run st2-kan m29

The complete motif sampler-

10.run st2- kan motif sampler

After finishing this kantha work sampler, I felt a sense of satisfaction. As they say, a road to long journey, starts with small steps.

Today I worked on some small kantha work motifs. Showing the few pieces I completed today.
Motifs a

10.run st2-kan m22

The motifs were outlined with black thread in running stitch.
Motifs b

10.run st2-kan m23

I did not use a lot of colours for these motifs.
Motifs c

10.run st2-kan m24

Still working on the last few motif patterns.

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