India is a variant country, having a hybrid cultural background. Since the 70s, the country has started to prosper once again in terms of the cultural background. And presently, you can say that no other country is as diverse as India is. Its diversity can be clearly seen in the embroidery artworks it has.
Based on different zones and cultural backgrounds, the Indian embroidery artworks vary a lot. Not only the varieties are introduced in terms of the fabric used but also in the way the embroideries are done. And when we are talking about the Indian embroideries, nothing can ever come close to the handmade fabric designs that are of high aesthetic importance.
One such handmade embroidery is the Kantha needlework. Hailing from the eastern cultural zone of the country, Kantha embroidery works were earlier done as per necessity. Most of the residents of these states were poor and they needed thick clothes and accessories to keep themselves warm.
So, the women gathered worn out and thin clothes and placed them one above the other to form a pile. Once the desired thickness was there, they sewed the edges with their hands and to make sure that the fabric looks a little bit attractive, they used running stitches to make motifs of animals, birds, emotions, and so on throughout the fabric.
It was only during the early 80s that the Kantha embroidery was commercialized on a broader scale. However, even then hardly people acknowledged the beauty and divinity of this Indian craftwork. It is only in recent years that apart from recognizing Kantha as prime embroidery work, people are now focusing on the various types of Kantha works.
These different styles of Kantha embroidery vary in the way they are done and their purpose. Otherwise, you will find the same wrinkles appearing here and there throughout the fabric due to the running stitches performed throughout. So, let’s have a look at the six most common and important Kantha stitches and works that are available in the Indian market.
Lep Kantha works are done on a pile of clothes placed together to give it a volume. The fabrics are sewed together along the edges and most of the time, you will find some embroidery works scattered all across the Kantha. As they are quite voluminous, lep Kantha works are usually used as quilts and comforters.
Baiton Kantha works are used to cover the books and other items and hence they have large and prominent patchwork embroidery or running stitch embroidery.
This type of work is done on saris, quilts and even the dupattas which are meant for ceremonial usages. As a result, the embroideries are almost done with sheer precision.
Focus is given on the borderline embroideries which are done in the form of assorted designs and motifs and are made wide. It is used for covering small mirrors and toilet accessories.
This is a form of embroidery work where there is a central lotus design and wide borderlines to accentuate the beauty of the artwork.
Just like the name sounds, this embroidery work has wonderful running stitches motifs along the borders of the rectangular or square-shaped pillow covers.
Shop our Kantha Quilts for more.