Kantha comprises of the simplest stitch in the language of embroidery – the running stitch. It is the way in which this stitch is used, in different arrangements, that forms the complex vocabulary of kantha.
Originally it was used to join layers of old saris, to make quilts and was used as a means of self-expression by both urban and rural women in Bengal
Meaning – Patched Cloth. Pronounced “KAHN-taa”
Over its history, the kantha stitch has grown into a traditional Bengali craft at the heart of their culture. It has become a generational skill to be passed down in a Bengali family. Quilts and blankets are made and designed from the family’s recycled textiles by the women of the household to be given as wedding or new baby presents and eventually becoming family heirlooms. Each piece being made from a recycled saris or dhotis that hold stories from a member of the family. Designing a deeply special quilt that the maker even sews in their hopes and dreams.
It is the perfect stitch for beginners and can be elaborated as the stitcher’s confidence grows. The stitch is worked by bringing the needle from the back side of the fabric to the front at your starting point and repeat as desired. Characteristically, in Kantha stitching, the stitch on the backside of the cloth is shorter than the one on the front. This gives the quilt the traditional dimply wrinkled appearance that we associate with this style of quilting. By making the stitches closer together the tighter the stitches then the cloth will become stiffer in comparison to the stitches being further apart.
In today’s world where we are trying to move away from fast fashion cycles and unethical production methods. Kantha seems to show us a move towards a more sustainable way of purchasing and caring for our garments and accessories.
winters or can be used as AC comforts. Dohars have a layer of filling material, which is either cotton or wool.