Saree Embroidery - 2 - Kutchwork embroidery

Kutchwork or Sindhi embroidery, also called the Maltese cross, is one of the many colorful and traditional styles of Indian embroidery, attributed to the Kutch region of Gujarat in Western India. This technique quite possibly descended from the Armenian embroidery style, as there are striking similarities, but different applications.

It is really simple once you learn the interlacing steps on the herringbone stitch base pattern.  Once you master the basic pattern of a Maltese cross, you can repeat it into innumerable variants, including borders, paisley motifs etc.

Saree with simple Maltese crosses

Here is my plain Dharmavaram silk saree with borders on both sides, on which are embroidered simple diamond squares/Maltese crosses of Kutchwork in different colors, located at equal distances all over the saree, and more near the pallu.  The threads used can be Anchor/DMC skiens or silk threads as seen here. 

Here is a similar saree, with green crosses on the easycrafts blog >>

Saree with elaborate Kutchwork          

Picture of the saree pallu
Here is another saree of mine, where the paisley/mango motif has been reused all over the nylon lavender-colored saree, in alternating colors such as vibrant red, yellow and green.

The stitches used are the Maltese crosses,interlacing crosses and finally the humble and plain herringbone stitch and stem stitch.
Closeup of the paisley/mango motif
You can also add a mirror/shisha or a sequin and a bead as done here in the middle of the round cross.
The embroidered borders
Closeup of the motifs along the border
I will include links to more elaborate patterns, tutorials etc. here, since the technique is so old that there are plenty of instructions already available, by fellow-crafters, so feel free to browse them for help and inspiration:

The Armenian Embroidery site has clear instructions for both the basic and advanced patterns and also beautiful pictures of their finished products.


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