|Tweet Tweet - running stitch & variations 20 cm x 20 cm|
The apple theme has slipped just a little but I have continued to play with running stitch. Who would of thought that you could do so many things with just one stitch and its variations. I posted a stitched apple a little while ago using running stitch . As you can see I have also stitched up a bird inspired by a Mexican folk painting. The backing was small piece of hand dyed cotton which I had held on to and have finally let go of. I think it was the backing that inspired the colours of the the threads I used.
Looking at running stitch and its variations (and exploration on the net with my friend Google) has reminded me of the some cultures that use running stitch stitch in their s embroideries.
So far I have read about and played with Kantha a little. You can sort of see it in the textured background of the bird above and the apple I put up about two posts ago. That probably is the only similarity other than the use of running stitch itself. In Kantha works the running stitches create the colour blocks - in the little bird above I have whipped and wrapped to get a more intense colour.
|Kantha Image credit - V& A Collection|
Kantha is a form of quilting and decorating fabric that is a speciality of women in the Bengal region in the Indian subcontinent. The running stitches have a little tension to them which gives the fabric textures and shadows. I found this really interesting link to an article by an organisation called the Institute of International Social Development (an Indian NGO) which talks about the origins of Kantha.
|Sunjani embroidery . Image credit -acrosstheborderoverthesea.wordpress.com|
I have learnt that there is a form of stitching called Sujani (or Sujini) which is similar to Kantha in the region of Bihar. Here is a link which tells a little more about the history of stitch in this region.
So far in my research on the web the only really consistent statement as to the difference between the two styles of stitch is region, traditional motifs used that relate to that region and that the motif in Sunjani is always outlined in chain stitch. The other difference stated on a couple of sites was the Sunjani stitch is always in a straight line whereas Kantha lines will curve and circle. Not all the images i saw backed this up. I need to find some print sources and check it out st some stage.
Nevertheless, I have enjoyed my armchair exploration of two parts of India and stitch and will keep browsing as many of the tales and images I come across are inspirational.
And of course I will keep stitching and making.