Types of Kantha Embroidery

Kantha embroidery is a specific type of embroidery that originated mainly in West Bengal. It is a popular trend to use kantha throws in sarees. The hard work of Bengali women in the past has laid the foundation of popularizing kantha sarees. This has also made them popular in the rest of the world. But, kantha is not just of one type. You will find them in several varieties.

The literal meaning of kantha in Sanskrit is rags. The origin of kantha is often linked to Buddha and his disciples who used the fabrics in the form of garments. Now kantha products have swarmed the market. You will find them in several garment and furniture pieces.

Earlier, it was used for making simple quilts. They were woven by women to keep the family warm during the night. This style of embroidery became exceptionally popular after tourists started visiting Bengal.

In the traditional times, kantha made use of a simple running stitch towards the edges using sarees and soft dhotis. The use of the kantha products depended on the finishing, which was known as either Sujni kantha or Lep kantha.

The embroidery made use of a very unique technique which involved using running stitches to depict beautiful motifs. They ranged from birds, animals, flowers, to mythology and lifestyle. Apart from Geometrical shapes, themes of everyday lives and activities were also included in the kantha embroidery


As discussed earlier, kantha embroidery can be of several varieties. We are going to discuss some of the traditional ways of doing running stitch.

  • Lep Kantha: This style involves the creating rectangular warps that are heavily padded in order to produce warm coverlets. The whole piece is stitched in a way ripped designs. Later, simple embroidery is executed over it.
  • Sujani Kantha: This type makes use of rectangular cloth pieces that can be used in the form of spreads or blankets. They are mainly used for occasions.
  • Baiton Kantha: This style makes use of square warps that are used for covering books and similar valuable materials. They are usually patterned elaborately with several colour designs and borders.
  • Oar Kantha: This is a kind of rectangular covers having very simple designs. They are simple, but have gorgeous decorative border around the edges.
  • Archilata Kantha: This type involves small rectangular covers used for holding toilet accessories or covering mirrors. They often display colourful borders with assorted motifs.
  • Durjani Kantha: This type has small rectangles with embroidered borders and a central louts design. These rectangles are usually folded inwards for using them in the form of wallets.

Contemporary kantha has been spread to a wide range of garments. These kantha products include dupattas, sarees, pillow covers, bed sheets, shirts for women and men. Most of the work is done using silk and cotton. Kantha makes use of the simplest style of embroidery, yet has the ability to create something marvellous. Kantha embroidery is absolutely stunning, which makes it popular not only in India, but also worldwide.  


Evolution of Kantha Embroidery

Kantha is one of the popular styles of embroidery that originated in West Bengal. It is considered to be a symbol of the talents and skills possessed by Bengal’s rural women. The word Kantha signifies ‘throat’, in association to Lord Shiva. Kantha embroidery is known as the ‘running’ stitch.

This style of embroidery was traditionally used in sarees, dhotis, and quilts for a long period of time till it made its way into modern Indian fashion. Today this style can be found in several varieties of garments and home furnishings like dupattas, shawls, pillow covers, and so on. Kantha bedsheets are also quite in style.

Origin of Kantha

Kantha has been known as one of the oldest forms of embroidery in India which can be traced back to the first and second A.D. The rationale behind the origin of this style was to reuse the old materials and clothes in order to create something new. This is the reason why Kantha embroidery is one of a kind.

The style of embroidery used in Kantha bedsheets is dated to about 500 years old. According to a myth, Lord Buddha along with his disciples made use of old rags having several patches works in order to cover themselves at night. These old rags supposedly mark the origin of Kantha embroidery. Traditionally, women used this style of embroidery to stitch three or four sarees together in order to cover their children at night. This may have started as a way to make life comfortable, but it has now turned into a huge trend in furniture and clothing.

The Designs

The source of inspiration for this piece of art was the day to day life. The motifs that were used in Kantha bedsheets and clothes were of fishes, folk scenes, animals, birds, and imagery that displayed the livelihood of the people in Bengal. Another kind of motivation was reprocessing, because women needed to recycle their old clothes in order to use them for practical purposes, such as furniture, blankets, or covers. Kantha embroidery is considered to be beautiful, practical, and economical all at the same time.

The Artists

For several decades, Kantha embroidery acted as a source of income to many rural women of West Bengal. But, the literal face behind this great art would be Shamlu Dudeja, known as a teacher and revolutionary, the one who identified the importance of this craft. In the early 80s’, she went to great lengths to empower rural women who were practising Kantha embroidery. She encouraged them to take this craft more seriously in a professional way. She laid the foundation of Kantha embroidery which later became so popular.

Present Day Scenario

Kantha embroidery is known for making a huge impact in the fashion market. Many fashion shows have displayed a beautiful collection of Kantha work, including other types of Indian embroideries. Nowadays, designers are giving a unique twist to the traditional form of Kantha embroidery in different types of clothing, such as kurtas, sherwanis, hot pants, and dhotis. This style of embroidery is a great display of art in whatever way it is represented.  


Kantha blankets and throws ideas

Talk about the house décor and the mention of Kantha is mandatory. Kantha and Kantha designs are ruling the house décor ideas in the present time. These designs could be seen everywhere around you – from the bedroom to the drawing rooms to the guest room, dining room and even gardens. More number of people today are experimenting with a variety of designs that Kantha is serving them today.

Out of all the Kantha products, Kantha blankets and Kantha quilts make the most common choice of a majority of people. Kantha blankets, full of vibrant colours, patterns and designs are being used for the purpose of house decoration. These colourful blankets go well with the bed-sheets of almost all the colours, thereby adding an exclusive statement to your odd, old and boring room setting. Similarly, Kantha baby quilts, too, are creating a huge statement for themselves. These baby quilts come in a number of colours, designs and patterns which is not only good in terms of the appearance but in its overall quality as well. The soft cotton material and the colourful designs of these quilts are taking over all the cartoon blankets that the children would earlier want to sleep in.

Another Kantha product creating a lot of buzz is the Kantha throws. A beautiful and a colourful Kantha throw can be adjusted just anywhere into your house – bedroom, drawing room or the living room to add more colours and statement to your otherwise dull setting.

All these Kantha products are setting an example of more quirky and vibrant house décor ideas and more number of people today are experimenting with these patterns. Here are a few Kantha quilt and throws ideas that could inspire you for an ultimate house decoration:

  • Vintage Kantha quilts and throws:


Kantha, as it is, is considered to be a vibrant and colourful style and leaving it raw in its most vintage form can create a statement for itself. All you are required to do is to pick any vintage Kantha saree and customize the same into a beautiful Kantha quilts or a blanket or a throw. You can use the resulting product in your bedroom.

  • Reversible Kantha blankets and quilts:


For this particular idea, you are required to pick two different Kantha sarees and to weave them into a blanket to give it a reversible look. You can contrast colours with this particular idea. Pick the saree in two different shades and let it create a beautiful reversible design for your blanket.

  • Dyed Kantha:


For this purpose, you can pick your old and dull Kantha saree and make it all the more colourful by dyeing it in different shades. Indigo dyeing is considered to be complementing the Kantha designs very well. Furthermore, you can also opt for the process of tying and dying. The results would be as astonishing as the process.

Choose from these three different Kantha ideas for your blankets, Kantha quilts or throws and your little space would speak for itself.


Our Kantha Quilts Are Just So Awesome

Kantha quilts are something that has become the hottest trend whenever it comes to house décor and beautiful indoor settings. The amazing design, patterns, small details as well as vibrant colours of the Kantha quilts surely create one amazing style statement which adds to the beauty of any indoor setting.

Kantha basically refers to the old type of stitch that was prevalent in the craft of some beautiful embroideries. The beautiful Kantha stitch gives all the saree quilts a beautiful wavy and textured quality which is often known to be a ‘running stitch’. Several sarees and Kantha fabrics are layered with each other and are eventually stitched into one, which creates a classic, beautiful and a vintage style. These stitches aren’t just the random stitches that are carved and weaved by the artists, but they exhibit various distinctive rhythms which form a part of the ‘visual signature’ of the concerned artist. The Kantha quilts come in amazing sizes, shapes, colours as well as designs of the patches of clothes.

The craft of Kantha has always been very unique and classic to the quality. This stitch has always exhibited a rich blend of various details and motifs which are anchored in one huge symbolism. These particular motifs are full of their own stories and mostly showcase the self-expression as well as aspirations of the artisans who weave them with all their hearts. The common designs in these Kantha quilts and Kantha bedsheets include trees, plants, sun, moon and various others.

The fashion of Kantha has taken the entire world by storm and this design is in buzz almost everywhere today ranging from magazines, templates, famous websites and house decorators. The craze of Kantha isn’t just restricted to the small Indian place where it was incepted, on the contrary Kantha has popularized itself on a global level. Consequently, a number of Kantha products are seen to be sold in the world market just like hotcakes. Kantha bedsheets, Kantha quilts, Kantha sarees, Kantha bags, Kantha table-covers, etc. have become the centre of attraction and more number of people are buying them in great quantities to decorate their properties.

These beautiful Kantha quilts and bed-sheets are adding an extra glam to any basic space, thereby adding more colours and patterns to it. The beautiful vintage Kantha quilts are being sold in different colours and patterns such as floral, polka dots, birds, paisley, etc.

Our Kantha quilts are amazingly hand-stitched using the recycled saree cloth all the way from India. These Kantha quilts could be used in a number of ways for all kinds of decorative purposes ranging from a wall-hanging to beautiful cushion covers, curtains, photo frames, bedsheets, Kantha kid blankets, wraps, table clothes, table mats and various others. You are merely required to tune in to your creative side and you can use the beautiful Kantha quilts in more beautiful ways.

Kantha quilts always make an amazing choice as far as decoration of your home in different and unique styles is concerned.


Most inspiring Kantha quilting trends of 2018

The recently introduced Kantha products have taken the entire décor world by storm, as a result of which Kantha has become the hottest trend in the markets today. The Kantha quilts are very exotic and are mostly considered to be one of a kind. A basic Kantha quilt is more than enough to give your room a vibe of colours and beautiful decoration. Needless to say, Kantha is seen everywhere in one form or the other.

This art belongs to the land of Bengal where it had been in practice for a long time. The blankets of Kantha are made using the recycling worn saris which were originally intended to keep a person warm during all the colder months. A traditional Kantha style follows five layers of used sarees as stitched together using a single running stitch which further rolls it into a quilted blanket. Since Kantha baby quilts and Kantha blankets have gained a widespread popularity, here are the most inspiring trends of 2018 related to Kantha quilting.

  • Blue is the new cool:

Quilting your Kantha into everything blue has become the hottest trend of the year. Blue and various shades of blue are considered to be providing your Kantha blankets with a new look. You can easily create it by quilting all shades of blue Kantha into one massive blanket. The different shades of blue, when stitched into one, are surely going to create a good statement for your room and house décor.

  • Kantha Patchwork:

Another quilting trend that has been making rounds all over the fashion and décor world is the patchwork. Patchwork and quilting have always complemented each other as both of them blend very well so as to give you room an exquisite appearance. Thus, you can try it using Kantha sheets as well. Cut all your old Kantha bedsheets into various patches and quilt them into a Kantha blanket and here you go – the Kantha patchwork blanket is all prepared.

  • Mix and match:

Who says you cannot match two diverse designs together to make yourself something really unique and astonishing? Pick your old Kantha bedsheet and take any other fabric design or pattern including plain cotton, batik, brocade, floral print or any other design and blend all of these together into a beautiful mix and match quilt which is surely going to be the centre of all the attention.

  • Classic is never out of fashion:

If nothing works for you, a simple Kantha quilt will always give you a nice escape so that you don’t have to worry about quilting ideas and keep the Kantha work as raw and traditional as it could be. Do not experiment, pick your old Kantha saree or bed-sheet and get it quilted into a Kantha blanket and you are all done serving the purpose.

Almost all the Kantha products are gaining a huge popularity everywhere. From Kantha cushion covers to bags to quilts – Kantha is everywhere. Look into these trending quilting trends of Kantha and decorate your house like never before.