Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Alphabet Club Catch up post : Letter K

Hello Friends,

I’m back with another TAC catch up post . Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post. I’m happy to know that you found the J words interesting.

This post is going to be a long one, so get a cup of coffee and start reading.

K is for Khaki (UK /ˈkɑːkiː/, Canada and US /ˈkækiː/) is a color, a light shade of yellow-brown. Khaki is a loanword incorporated from Hindustani (Urdu or Hindi) ख़ाकी/خاکی (meaning "soil-colored") and is originally derived from the Persian (Khâk, literally meaning "soil"), which came to English from British India via the British Indian Army.
The word Khaki is commonly used for police uniform these days.

Another loan word from ancient Indian language Sanskrit is Karma (कर्म);  ( listen).It means action, work or deed. It also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).

I see a lot of cross stitch designers using the word Karma in their designs and also subversive quotes in languages. I sometimes can’t understand the use of Karma there …ha ha

K is for Hindi word Kadhai(कढ़ाई ) meaning embroidery. India has been known for its rich handicrafts since centuries and there are various form of embroidery done in each state of India which is unique its own way.
Here are example of some K embroideries.

Kantha is a popular style of embroidery that comes from West Bengal,India. Kantha is perhaps the oldest forms of Indian embroidery as it can be traced back to the first and second A.D. The thought behind this needlework was to reuse old clothes and materials and turn them into something new. This is what makes kantha embroidery only one of its kind. Traditionally women would take 4 to 5 sarees, layer them together and create different running stitches on them which they then used as blankets to cover their children with. Day to day life was the biggest source of inspiration behind this craft. The motifs designed on clothes or bed spreads were of birds, animals, folk scenes, fishes and imagery that depicted different views of livelihood for the people living in Bengal. Reprocessing was another form of motivation, since initially women recycled their old clothes and turned them into something more practical, like covers for furniture, or blankets. Economical, practical and yet beautiful is what Kantha embroidery is all about. The type of stitch used is basically the ‘running’ stitch. 
Kantha used as bed spread

A panel of Kantha work
Kasuti (Kai=hand and Suti = cotton) comes from the state of Karnataka, India. Kasuti is done with single thread and involves counting of each thread on the cloth. The patterns are stitched without knots, so that both sides of the cloth look alike. 
Kasuti Sample
Kathi embroidery is an art and is adept by the women who belong to Kathi community; this is a nomadic Gujarat tribe in Gujarat, India. Black cloth is chosen for this embroidery. And many colors like crimson, yellow, golden, white are used to decorate and beautify the embroidery. To provide a balanced effect and good reflection blue and green colors are also used in a small quantity. To outline the embroidery work, chain cum and chain interlacing stitch is used. After that the fillings of it are completed by the herringbone stitch.
Kathi Sample
The Kutch embroidery is a handicraft and textile signature art tradition of the tribal community of Kutch District in Gujarat, India.This embroidery with its rich designs has made a notable contribution to the Indian embroidery traditions.The embroidery, practiced normally by women is generally done on fabrics of cotton, in the form of a net using cotton or silk threads. In certain patterns, it is also crafted over silk and satin. The types of stitches adopted are square chain, double buttonhole, pattern darning, running stitch, satin and straight stitches.
Kutch Tapestry
Kashmiri embroidery from Kashmir, India (also Kashida) is used for phirans (woollen kurtas) and namdahs (woollen rugs) as well as stoles. It draws inspiration from nature. Birds, blossoms and flowers, creepers, chinar leaves, ghobi, mangoes, lotus, and trees are the most common themes. The base cloth, whether wool or cotton, is generally white or cream or a similar shade. Kashmiri embroidery is known for the skilled execution of a single stitch, which is often called the Kashmiri stitch and which may comprise the chain stitch, the satin stitch, the slanted darn stitch, the stem stitch, and the herringbone stitch.  
Kurta with Kasmiri Emboidery
Kamal Kadai is an Indian embroidery style native to the state of Andhra Pradesh that primarily uses needle weaving to stitch beautiful flowers. There is definitely a specific style to the flower designs used in Kamal Kadai. The flower petals kind of look like they have "steps" or "levels" (for lack of better explanation). 
Kamal Kadai flower sample
Most of these embroideries above use simple stitches like chain and stem, however they differ from each other from the type of motifs, colors and base cloth used. The motifs represent the nature and life of the region.
Wait there is more to Kadhai… ha ha…well the word Kadhai is also one of the ways how the Hindi word कड़ाही is spelled in English. A karahi (/kəˈr/; Hindi: कड़ाही kaṛāhī, Urdu: کڑاہی‎; also kadai, korai, karai, kadhi, kadahi, kadhai) is a type of thick, circular, and deep cooking-pot (similar in shape to a wok) that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is used in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Nepalese cuisine. Traditionally made out of cast iron, karahi look like woks with steeper sides. Today they can be made of stainless steel, copper, and non-stick surfaces, both round and flat-bottomed.
Aluminium Kadhai/Karahi
If you ever visit my house I will serve you food cooked in a Kadhai…lol. And if you like Indian food, you will now understand what Kadhai Paneer is-its cottage cheese cooked in a Kadhai.

Well as now we are talking of food, let’s talk of word “Khana” which is a common word used for food or meal and as a verb meaning to eat.
I know some of you TACers have a sweet tooth like me, so last but not the least is “Kheer” “खीर. Kheer is any sweet/desert made with milk. The chief ingredient may vary from rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli. This is usually served cold and the popular English rice pudding is believed by some to be descended from kheer.
Kheer anyone?
Huff, I’m tired writing about all these K words , I’m sure you are too reading about them.

Will see you soon for the next post.


  1. I am astonished by the beauty of those various stitching styles. It's easy to forget what a large variety of techniques fall under the word "needlework". Thank you for sharing these pictures. I am always in favour of a sweet - and that looks yummy!

  2. K, so you got lot of stuff with k :) Semiyaan kheer is my husband's favourite sweet. I have two Kantha embroidered bedspreads and I know Kutch work embroidery and own a good number of kadhais and infinite number of kurti/kurtas.
    My grandma taught me a fun sentence in Marathi with k, tell your hubby he will understand.
    Kanetkar kaakanne karaamaati kaatrine kaamaachee kaagde kaapun kaadhli.
    That was the shortest I could remember, it had few more k words.

  3. It's lovely to see all those beautiful styles of embroidery. such rich colour palettes. I think the Kasuti might be my favourite. thank you for sharing such interesting facts.

  4. So many beautiful and different embroideries! I don't know if I could pick a favorite! And they all start with K, my favorite letter :) Thank you for sharing them with us!

  5. Very interesting! It's incredible that so many different embroidery styles begin with K. Great post and photos. :)

  6. It's so very interesting to read about the origin of different words. And this time it was the different styles of embroidery which I particularly liked.

  7. Kheer is possibly my best and most favourite thing in the world! Sorry, you wrote a great post but all I could focus on was that delicious looking kheer!

  8. A really interesting post, and some really beautiful stitches. Very good to read with my cup of tea!

  9. Great post. I knew about khaki and karma and I'm sure you blogged about Kasuti before (or maybe Preeti did?). The rest was new to me, those embroidery styles are so beautiful and colourful.
    We always had milk puddings as children, a cheap nutritious way to fill up hungry children!

  10. Fantastic post, Ingrid - I am amazed by all of the beautiful embroidery styles, all of which start with K - the best letter, of course. hugs, Kaye


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