#26: What form of expression are you most grateful for?
I’m most grateful for having stumbled across the art of Indian “Kantha”, and more specifically the use of the humble yet powerful Running Stitch, or Straight Stitch.
Kantha is a traditional Indian technique used for layering old sari cloth together and quilting them together using a simple running stitch. The stitching causes the characteristic wrinkling across the surface of the piece, which to me is extremely charming. The actual act of sewing the running stitches itself is meditative and mindful, which I find soothing.
Boro, which means “Rags” is a Japanese tradition of repurposing old clothes, turning them into dishcloths, rags, floor mats, etc, using predominantly the simple running stitch. The spirit of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”, or “Mottainai” in Japanese is very much in evidence in Boro items, which today are very prized amongst collectors for their provenance and history.
As you might have guessed already, the common thread (hehe, did you see what I did there 😉) joining both Kantha and Boro, across oceans and continents, is the humble running stitch.
I’m so enamoured of this stitchery witchery that I’m seriously considering starting a small business creating useful household items from recycled fabrics. The thrift stores around here are always full of unique and interesting fabrics and bedlinen (mysteriously called “manchester” here in Australia), that I can utilise and give a new lease of life.
I’m toying with some names for my business: “Running Stitch”, “Kantha +Boro”, “ReLoved” are a few of them.
Items that I’ve put on my list as possible sellers are:
Coasters and Table Mats
Wallets and small pouches
Kantha fabric “beads”
For those unfamiliar with the beautiful world of Kantha+Boro, here are some of my favourites, curated from Pinterest. Yes, I have an entire board dedicated to Kantha, Boro and their sister, Sashiko.