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Two Kantha Covering Cloths….. Guest Blogger: Penny Peters

March 1, 2018

The two Kantha embroideries pictured here were probably intended as wrapping cloths or covers for valued household items.  They are both about 2.5 feet square, and though both use animal motifs, they have very different sensibilities. The first is worked in mostly red and blue threads to depict solid looking horses and elephants marching in rhythm around inside a border of red paisley motifs with legs (to look like birds?). The central motif is the traditional lotus design with the edge and internal borders worked in pattern darning.  The addition of scattered flowers and leaves adds a sense of spontaneity to the first piece.  The second kantha speaks of animals of a different sort.  These animals are outlined in almost naïve positions.  They are not solid forms. The embroiderer has used just a few running stitches within the figures which gives them a light playful appearance. They seem to scamper, posture and cavort around in their borders.  Note the four different peacocks in each corner of the central square.  The lotus motif in the center is depicted in a non-traditional way, and the borders are also lightly patterned. Both kanthas are charming, and I enjoy thinking about the effectiveness of each style.

All the photographs have been taken by Penny Peters at the Silver and Art Palace Textile Museum and Sales, Jaipur, India.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Fox permalink
    March 1, 2018 8:50 pm

    Beautiful Kantha pieces, Penny. I favor the more graphic one: elephants and horses. Thank you for sharing your textiles.

  2. March 1, 2018 11:52 pm

    Thanks for showing us these Penny. I always enjoy seeing your collection 🙂

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