This will be a visual feast of kantha embroidery research and found imagery from around the web and the world.
I was doing a little kantha embroidery – to clarify, kantha can just mean running stitch, but I think of it when it is dense and continuous – forming patterns from the negative space.
Before I went to India to work on my old project Teller Clothing, with the wonderful Saheli Women, I got struck by a kantha piece in the V&A… I think it was one of these but I can’t find my original imagery now.
Anyway, long story short – it is a technique I want to explore more – I like how it slightly puckers and distorts the fabric (that is probably my bad tension). I like how it is a build up, you can’t see it until it is finished… I don’t know, something cool about Kantha embroidery that I definitely want to explore more.
Just look at that elephant (above)!! All of these images above and below are from the Google arts museum search, actually an amazing resource.
Modern kantha embroidery
So I love the above for the history and reference, but found some beautiful modern examples too.
A textile artist who I know nothing about but I follow on instagram and she/he does beautiful experimental kantha embroidery work. I really love how they build up the stitches and patterns to make very ‘alive’ work.
Here are two more examples, less ‘heavy’ kantha but both beautiful.
My Kantha Embroidery
All quite weird and wonderful, a start – long way to go. It is quite a slow technique though!!