Bengal – State of Vintage Kantha Quilts

Kantha has become a very famous name in the world of handlooms and textiles today. However, not many people know that this pattern of embroidery has its root in the ancient India where it was considered to be a major craft among the household women of Bengal.

Kantha is a kind of embroidery craft that hails from the eastern regions of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the areas of Bangladesh as well as the Indian states of Tripura, West Bengal and Odisha. In the state of Odisha, all the old saris are stacked on to each-other and are later hand-stitched in order to make thin pieces of cushions and various other decors. Kantha saris are further worn by the women throughout the region of Bengal in the Indian subcontinent.

Kantha embroidery derives its name from the word Kantha which means rags in Sanskrit. Thus, this fact reflects that this embroidery has been made out of the discarded clothes and garments. This form of embroidery is considered to be the oldest forms of embroidery that hails from India. To talk more about the origin of this form of embroidery, Kantha’s inception has been traced back to the ancient pre Vedic ages. The Kantha as we have seen today was found as a mention in the 500-year old book, Chaitanya Charitamrita by Krishnadas Kaviraj. All the motifs that are found in Kantha embroidery are mostly the symbols which were derived from the beautiful ancient art. All these symbols are reflective of the natural beauty present in the universe such as the sun, the tree or life, etc.
Earlier, the embroidery included the symbols depicting the natural creations, however, soon the same was used as a medium of religious and cultural significance. The credit of the revival of Kantha throughout the country goes to all the rural housewives of West Bengal who are known to be playing a significant part in the evolution of the Kantha embroidery. It was considered to be customary for al lthese women to make the use of this embroidery in running stitches along the edges. For centuries, the techniques of this art were passed down from mother to daughter and hence the art of Kantha continue to prevail.

Kantha embroidery was continued to be practiced among the rural women of West Bengal, but soon the craft began to fade with the time. It was until the year 1940 that this craft was revived by the renowned Kala Bhavana Institute of Fine Arts which was a part of Vishwa Bharti University in Shanti Niketan. This art was again revived by Shamlu Dudeja in the 1980s when the lady founded Self-Help Enterprise (SHE) that helped to empower women as well as their livelihood by the way of Kantha embroidery.

Today, this form of embroidery has become very popular not only locally, but globally as well. Kantha embroidery has been popularizing itself in the textile and handloom industry. Not only this, the fashion industry, too, has adopted the idea of this embroidery and as a result a number of fashion designers are working under various projects involving the use of Kantha. All credits to the rural women of West Bengal.

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Waves Fine Stitched Vintage Kantha Quilt Queen

Waves and floral Vintage Kantha Quilt Queen

Beauty of Vintage Kantha Baby Quilts

Made from layers of bright and colourful vintage saris, hand-stitched together in contrasting thread, these beautiful baby quilts are not only incredibly soft and lightweight, but the perfect size for little ones to snuggle up with. Enjoy one-of-a-kind item! One of kind because these are unique, no two piece are alike. Each of baby quilt has its own story. Each blanket has a story of love and affection, story of artisan and memories of their life and much more.
These versatile baby blankets can be used as a wrap, blanket, swaddle, pram cover, beach rug, wall art… the uses are endless. Ideal snuggle these blankets for cots, cradles, baskets, beds, backs or whatever one puts a baby in.
These Baby quilts are so great, aren’t they? They’re typically pretty small, so they require less fabric, thread and time to make. You can choose from a variety of adorable prints or soft pastel solids. Quilting them is a breeze. And best of all, you can make one in a weekend! It’s so much fun to create for little one.
Not that you need a thought to make another quilt, but a baby is a pretty great reason. And while diapers, baby wipes and onesies are all impressive gifts for new babies. A quilt is a gift that can be loved, used and washed over and over again. From tummy time to extremity burp cloth, there can never be ample soft blankets around with a new baby. And when baby grows into toddler and child, there are picnics to be eaten, fabric forts to be built, bedtime cuddles to be had, winter car rides that need a lap cover, and more. There are various uses for a small handmade quilt – it’s a gift that gives for years.
As these vintage baby quilts are handmade, vintage item, it may not be perfectly sized, there may be loose threads & imperfections. This is not a fault, just affix to its charm and telling a story of its tradition.

KANTHA CARE INSTRUCTION –
As this a alluring handmade / vintage item, special care must be taken while using and washing. Gentle, cold hand wash separately, use only a mild detergent, do not bleach, do not soak, do not tumble dry, do not dry clean. Dry flat in shade and cool iron if required.

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