Johannesburg: Dorothy’s Kantha

September 14, 2019
Time spent with the International crew was wonderful. After long days of teaching, most of us sat and stitched and conversed in our common room. From left to right: me, Dorothy Tucker, Paula Rafferty, Heather Kinion, Uta Lenk, and Anita Grossman Soloman (standing.) Missing from this photo are Jacquie Gering and Helen Godden.
Dorothy had a collection of Kantha that she pulled out for us one evening. I was entranced by this art form. People the world over have used stitch as a means for expression as long as we have had needles and thread.
Dorothy had us all intrigued. She is from England, was born in India, studied art/textiles, and has made a study of Kantha. She teaches the history of this textile art form and it’s techniques as a means of expression.
Originally, the maker of a Kantha cloth would take a worn sari and fold it in layers so that the best parts were on the outside. The decorative trim would be dismantled and the thread would be used to stitch the layers together. Sometimes they told a story, sometimes the stitching was purely functional.
This original piece was created by Dorothy after a previous trip and her encounter with a bushman there.
A contemporary and more abstract stitched piece created by Dorothy. I found her work to be exquisite.
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Patti Maxwell
    September 15, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Fascinating! I had not heard of Kantha before. Seeing the picture of all of you from different parts of the world sitting together, and thinking of the sewing, talking and laughing that ensued made my heart happy.

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