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Sunday, 24 October 2010

UFO - korak

I am currently in the process of sorting out my room, which, I am afraid, could take some time. I have come across some UFO's, which I am sure many of you have too.
The most interesting of all my UFO's is my Korak sampler.
The first time I came across Korak, was when one of the Guild members brought in a patchwork she was working on, but I was intrigued by the method she was using to stitch what looked like a quilt top.
She was working from a book by a Swiss author Ruth Tschudy, which she came across on her holidays in Germany. Eventually I managed to find this book on  Amazon. It is a very interesting book, showing some old Koraks, and also some of Ruth's own work and projects to make with instructions.
The text inside the book is in both German and English.

Korak is thought to be one of the most ancient form of patchwork in the world. They were produced in the areas along the Silk Route, mainly in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Koraks were used mainly as floor and wall coverings by the nomads living in the area, sometimes pressed into still soft mud walls of their new huts. Because they were made along the Silk Route, where the caravans were bringing fabrics from different parts of the world, Koraks were made with all sorts of fabrics, cottons, silks, brocade, velvet ...
Ruth Tschudy's book explains the significance of shapes and colours used, mainly the triangle.
The Koraks are stitched onto a foundation fabric like old cottons, linen etc. I used a piece of calico. A lot of work goes into the preparation, making templates and cutting out the fabric shapes.
You start with drawing a grid onto the foundation fabric, whatever design you want to stitch. Then you lay and pin on the shapes, starting at the bottom, working upwards, overlapping the raw edges as you go along.
All the stitching is done by hand, on the right side, using the straight hem stitch, again starting from the bottom, removing the pins as you sew. Koraks are not backed or quilted.
My sampler is about 40 x 36 cm. I made it only as an exercise, not really thinking ahead what I am going to do with it. Later I decided it could be made into a wall hanging, so I stared to embellish it. I think that at that point I did run out of ideas and it ended up in the draw. May be it is time to resurrect it!


  1. Radka, what an interesting technique. I had never heard of it until now. I love the colours you are working in. Those bright primaries jump out don't they. I am sure it will be another one of your marvellous pieces when you finish it. It does do you good to get some of these out and have another go, doesn't it.

  2. It looks very interesting!! Why don't you try again, I am sure will be a wonderful and special quilt.. Take care

  3. How interesting to read about this (for me) unknown tchnique. I'll certainly have a look at this book written by the Swiss author. You've already done quite a bit with your go and I think it would be a pity not to continue. With regard to the UFOs, I am tempted as well with realizing so many ideas but often I come to a sudden end when i.e. I made mistakes and don't feel to continue the work.
    Have a good time and enjoy sewing!

  4. thank you for you lovely comment. Looking forward to Saturday. Lizzie x

  5. I discovered your interesting blog, Radka. I wanted to know more about Korak. It sounds so good to make, when there is no machine around and when one does not want to handle big things.

  6. What an interesting post! I didn't know this technique, and now I'll try to learn more.
    Thanks you for sharing!

  7. Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting.

  8. Radka, this is very interesting. I am so far behind in reading your blog. I can see you have been busy too.


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