TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  The Ground Cloth on Kaitag Embroideries
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  05-23-2000 on 08:38 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear People, In the thread, "Smug Simurgh", Michael Wendorf raised some questions about the ground cloths on which Kaitag embroideries were embroidered. First, are they pieced or all one piece of cotton cloth? Most of the embroideries in Chenciner's book are made on ground cloths that consist of 2 to 7 pieces of cotton cloth sewn together to make the approximately 3'6" x 2'6" item. Of the 5 examples I used in the Salon, the Herrmann piece and the older of the two in Chenciner's book are sewn, the one from HALI and the younger of the two from Chenciner's book are all one piece, and I don't know what the structure of the one from ORIENTAL RUG REVIEW is. I have no idea whether any significance should be attached to this aspect of their structure, but I suspect there is none. As a point in passing, Uzbek suzani typically are made by sewing together pieces, each piece being embroidered separately (sometimes not all by the same embroiderer) and then joined. The Kaitags that are made from sewn pieces of cotton all seem to have been embroidered after the joining of the pieces, not before it. That is, there are no discontinuities in design at the points where the pieces of ground cloth come together, as there often are in suzani. Second, Michael notes that there are Kaitag embroideries with different colors of ground cloth. The most common is white or ivory, but some are done on indigo, some on red and a few on other colors. This one, shown in an earlier Salon, is an example of one on an indigo ground cloth. I doubt that there is any particular significance to the color of the background, although the background and spots of white in this one does suggest stars in a night sky. Steve Price

Subject  :  RE:The Ground Cloth on Kaitag Embroideries
Author  :  Patrick Weiler
Date  :  05-23-2000 on 10:12 a.m.
jpweil00@gte.net Steve, There is no mention of whether the Kaitag embroideries follow the tradition of some of the Uzbek Suzani of having a specialist artist draw the details on the ground cloth and then the "customer" does the embroidery. Is there any evidence of this? Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  RE:The Ground Cloth on Kaitag Embroideries
Author  :  Steve Price
Date  :  05-23-2000 on 10:32 a.m.
sprice@hsc.vcu.edu Dear Patrick, On some Kaitags there is inked outlining that the embroiderer uses as a guide, on some the embroidery is completely freehand. I don't know whether the outlining, when it is present, is done by a specialist or by the embroiderer herself. In the case of suzani, the outlining is essential because the embroidery is done on separate pieces that are sewn together at the end. This isn't the case with Kaitags. I'm not sure how much of a specialist the "outliner" is in the case of suzani. It's not uncommon for the embroidery in suzani to be done by more than one person, and I suppose the outlining is done by one of the embroiderers. But I don't think the "outliner" is someone other than one of the embroiderers, unlike dying specialists, where the person who dyes the yarn is not the same one who does the embroidery. Steve Price

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