My “Kantha” Scarves – Part 1

Following on from my previous posts about Indian Kantha, I bit the bullet and tried my hand at creating my own type of Kantha. 

I bought a packet of embroidery floss, 36 skeins in all in various colours, from my local Spotlight haberdashery store. I also found a large, long needle…it may be a needle for darning carpets or rugs…perfect for getting those thousands of stitches sewn faster than a tiny needle.

The 1st Kantha scarf I made turned out to be more of a shawl, made using some black velvet fabric I’d gotten at a thrift store. This scarf measures 16 wide x 72 inches long. That’s a lotta sewing!

I layered some fabric remnant pieces over the cut velvet, played around with various configurations, and when I was happy with the arrangement, just pinned the whole thing in place and then started handsewing. I tied the ends of the embroidery threads to the black velvet side for this project. It meant the velvet side showed a riot of coloured running stitches and also the tied and snipped off ends of thread. 

Here’s that 1st scarf/shawl, hanging from my orange tree.

The front part 1.

The front part 2. 

The back panel in velvet.

Close-up of the running stitches at the back.

Yes, of course I could’ve pre-marked the lines on the velvet with tailor’s chalk, to get perfectly evenly spaced and straight lines. But the whole point of the exercise is to try and sew in a straight line, and if you find yourself going off-piste, to simply correct yourself by stopping the line, tying it off and starting a brand new one. I had to do this a number of times with this scarf, but you’d never guess at first glance, right. 

A bit like real life, really. Fall off the bandwagon, get back on again. Or, alternatively, make your own tracks and head off into the sunset on your own.

For my 2nd attempt at making a Kantha scarf I’m going to make the knots appear on the side with the fabric arrangement…see tomorrow’s post!

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