Kantha embroidery is practiced in West Bengal mostly by the rural women. It is a very popular and traditional art and craft form and every woman in Bengal is said to own a few Kantha products, either handed down from past by tradition or simply because of their liking for this beautiful and detailed form of ornamentation.
Running stitch is mainly used in alternate or parallel repeats as per the design requirement. Beautiful patterns of flowers, animals, birds and geometrical shapes, as well as themes from everyday activities are embroidered mainly on silk and cotton, however, these days this embroidery is done on various other fabrics too. The running stitch on the cloth gives it a slight wrinkled and wavy effect which gives any fabric a different texture unlike other types of embroideries. The colors used are generally warm like red, orange, mustard, gold, however other colors look beautiful too.
Here are a few pictures that depict the style in which Kantha is traditionally shaped.
The art and skill of hand embroidery or “Chikan” is known as “Chikankari”. It is a traditional style of embroidery from the traditional city of Lucknow, in North India. This form of embroidery is said to have been introduced by Nur Jahan, Mughal emperor Jahangir’s wife.
Indians love their stuff made in Chikankari. I too love this beautiful and skilful form of art and craft which is well known both in India and internationally. Initially, it all began with a white on white work, i.e., white thread embroidery on white cotton fabrics but today it is available in numerous colors and fabrics. Generally these days, it is seen on cotton, silk, voile, cambric, georgette and chiffon. It consists of 36 different stitches in which the major ones are called “Bakhiya”, “Fanda”, “Murri”, “Bijli”, “Pechni”, “Ghans patti”, “Ulti Jali”, so on and so forth.
Check out some pictures below that illustrate this beautiful hand embroidery of India in various patterns, colors and designs. I am sure you will fall in love with this marvellous style of hand embroidery.
Picture Courtesy: SoulQuest