Monday, November 25, 2013

Free Online Kasuti Embroidery Tutorial Sample 1.1 - A Simple Pattern

I learnt the basics of kasuti on Aida matty and later graduated to using fine even weave net. But over the years, I've seen a lot of professionals stamp the design directly on fabric and start embroidering. With a little patience and practice, the same perfection can be effected, no matter what you use as the base gird. These tutorials explain the nuances of Kasuti designs. Once you grasp the fundamentals, you'll be able to attempt complex patterns.

The stitch used in Kasuti is called Holbein stitch in European Embroidery. The thing I love most about embroidery is, you'll find that the same styles of embroidery go by different names in different corners of the world. Only the motifs and colour combinations are different. Black Work is a case in point. Now, how did that come to be? Was the basic style globalized by ancient travelers?

Note: I'll be using the words journey and trip interchangeably throughout these sessions. Now, let's move on to the first lesson. 

Click on the picture to enlarge. Copy the design in fig.3 to an inch graph. I have used two squares per line for ease of reference. The standard stitch length is 1 square. Transfer the pattern to fabric using an yellow or white carbon (blue and black carbon leave ugly marks on fabric). Both the inch graph and the carbon sheets are available in wholesale stationery shops.

Work the design in 2 trips. The sample above is self explanatory. But I've also explained the steps

1. The onward journey in fig. 1, is worked from left to right.
  • Bring the needle up at 1 and take it down at 2. Bring it up again at 3 and so on...
  • Finally bring it up at 49 and take it down at 50.
  • Fig.2 is what the embroidery will look live on the reverse of the the fabric.
  • I have given corresponding numbers to the lines in the fig. 2.
2.  The return journey starts from right to left; it starts starts where the forward journey ends.
  • The 51 of fig. 3 is the same point in the fabric as 49 of fig. 1.
  • 52 of fig. 3 is the same point as 48 in fig.1.
  • Keeping working until you are back where you started - Point 98 in fig.3 = point 2 in fig 1. Fasten thread and cut.
3. The completed design looks like the third image. I've used 2 colours here to distinguish between the onward and the return journey. Continuous Kasuti patterns are usually worked in a single colour.

Here's a worked example of a variation of the pattern above.

If you have any doubts, you can post a comment and I'll clear your doubts. Also, suggestions to improve the course are welcome.


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