Reasons to Get Addicted to Kantha Quilts

The best thing about Kantha is these can be used throughout your home — on beds, as upholstery and as wall hangings.

Kantha quilts originate from eastern state of India and are made from vintage/old saris, layered on top of each other and stitched together. They have vibrant and unexpected colors, intricate patterns and an abundance of embroidered running stitches. It is quite easy to get yourself addicted to kantha quilts. If you would have managed to collect a few over the years, a big congratulations on your wise investment. These are so unique, one must have. Here are 15 places to integrate them into your decor.

1. This exciting and exotic sleep space: By far my best-loved thing to do with kantha quilts is to layer them on top of one other as bedding, as their lightweight nature makes these flawless for the job. Just like layering your clothes, this technique adds physical warmth, but also a relaxed elegance that seems like you haven’t tried too hard. For instance; make your bedroom with this and see the mixture of colorful embroidery draws the eye to the focal point of the room, the sleep space, but also the valuable light coming from the window.

2. This understated and dignified sleep space: These vintage kantha quilts are double sided, means reversible in nature – so they’re great for introducing an instant mixing and matching of patterns to add notice to a neutral bedroom scheme. To make this look, use a crisp white bedcover and layer your multi-color kantha quilts over the top (turn down the top of your blankets for a peek at the pattern underneath). Make sure you stumble them, so that one quilt sits higher than the other —this way both quilts are on unevil. Find accessories like books, plates or cushions that echo some of the colors in the quilt to tie the look together.

3. As a table runner: Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Kantha quilts make stunning tablecloths and runner! There is no need for any fancy cutlery or crockery here, because all eyes will be focused on the beautiful Kantha table cover. I’ll also let you in on a little secret: This patchwork Kantha table runner is the ultimate disguise for spills and drips at dinnertime.

4. This upholstered chaise: Like a knight in shining armor, this beautiful kantha cotton fabric has been draped across the seating area of this stunning black velvet antique sofa.

5. This show stopping scalloped chair: The vivid colors and patterns found in these Kantha blankets are so versatile that whatever the combination, these seem to work together. Here, a cheerful scalloped chair has been upholstered in a kaleidoscope of kantha fabric made from vintage saris.

6. As a colourful ottomans: Resting your feet has never been so contemporary with ottomans and footstools covered in godly kantha fabric. These are such an affirmation piece even when not in use. Plus, they’re practical — you’ll thank yourself for these handy seats when you’re lurch around with your shoelaces. If you aren’t feeling confident enough to slice up your quilts, hire a professional to upholster the seats for you.

7. As winter warmers: Searching for a lap blanket or something to take the edge off the cold when dining outdoors? Lightweight and available in various sizes, these kantha blankets are perfect for popping on your lap. Hang over the back of chairs; they can be obtained with ease.

8. As headboard: Attaching a multi-colored kantha quilt to a headboard is a creative way to preserve and display a precious blanket. As most kantha quilts are double sided, I would suggest a semi-permanent method of attachment — such as safety pins or Velcro — so that you have the option to flip the quilt and show off the reverse side as well. Easy to switch as per your mood.

9. As cushion Cover: When shopping for kantha quilts, it is sometimes hard to choose which one or two that you should buy. All of these are so gracious. Keep in mind that they can be made into kantha cushion covers, which means with a mix of colors and patterns available, you can take advantage of having a lot in same piece.

10. As a boho-chic kids’ chair: If you are searching for an everlasting way to make over a chair, you may like to consider using a kantha blanket. It’s astounding how versatile kantha is for different decorating styles. It seems to adjunct almost any setting by adding just a touch of color and pattern — not so much that it overtakes other sections in a room.

11. As a Wall Hanging: Each kantha quilt is like an original and unique piece of art and deserves to be treated as such. No piece is alike. Hang your kanthas on the wall and they will be treasured by all. And the bonus of a kantha wall hanging is that you can turn it over because of their reversible nature to reveal the pattern on the other side whenever you’re ready for a new look.

12. Over a bench: Over the back of a chair, on a bench, as a table runner or even as a picnic blanket, There are so many alternatives of using your kantha quilts.

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Kantha Embroidery needs a Rejuvenation

Kantha embroidery perceived its origin in the Vedic ages — it’s close-mouthed mention has been found in Krishnadas Kaviraj’s Chaitanya Charitamrita written almost 500 years ago. As a part of ancient art, this technique of embroidery saw the exposure of many kinds of motifs and symbols. The motifs were depiction of basic natural elements such as the sun, trees, animals, human and life in general.

But moderately, the embroidery found relevance and was used to portray fine intricacy, circumscribe culture and religion. With that, more and more rural people in West Bengal, Odisha and the neighboring Bangladesh quaff  the style, adding their own personal touch to it.

Kantha embroidery was one of the means by which people in Bengal would drizzle their blessings on the newly born in the family. It would be gifted to their near and dear ones during auspicious occasions like wedding, housewarming and to showcase their skills. An interesting mythological allusion behind the kantha‘s origin talks about both Lords Shiva and Budhha swaddle themselves with garments made from discarded rags (or in 0ther words, Kantha) that were mend, patched and sewn together.

Kantha embroidery is a noticeable style applied to the creation of quilts, blankets and coverlets. Normally in Lep kantha, women sew together layers of old cloth, mostly sarees, with intricate stitches. The thread used for the project is pulled out of the sari itself. Their precise artistry transformed worn out rags into exceptionally beautiful creations that could withstand further usage.

Old, unravel cloths, usually saris, experience a new lease of life, also describing the story of a new life for the women occupied in this craft. Kantha clutch a very special place within the village life in Katna, West Bengal. Making kanthas is a traditional activity as they are used to wrap and protect precious objects. Baby kanthas are prepared to give as gift to the newborn. At her marriage every girl receives an intricate kantha that her mother would have sewn on for years. A kantha is also used during cremation ceremony to cover the dead.

The beauty of Kantha

Visualize a snake leaving colour patterned trails on a field in the course of its tour across it. Kantha, the embroidery once from Murshidabad, in former Bengal, with its running stitch and other silhouette of stitches in coloured thread on handloom saris and other fabrics, is just about that and more.

This eccentric art that narrate beautiful thread work has the running stitch bring out exquisite endearing motifs of flora and fauna, simple geometrical shapes, scenes from everyday life, mythological themes and folklore in multi-color. The stitches for kantha work primarily embrace the running stitch, darning stitch, satin stitch and loop stitch forms of thread work, however the stem stitch is specifically for the coloured motifs. Kantha work gives the sari a grooved and wavy look that modify plain into unique, average into extraordinary creations. Though the running stitch is most accepted for its ease, other forms of stitch such as darning stitch, satin stitch and loop stitch are also used.

Colour of the thread employed are based on the design and subject, the field or background and the plead that it could possibly create.

More about Kantha

Kantha got a commercial boost in the 80’s when an NGO saw this remarkable skill get it’s rightly due. A plenty of exhibitions were held and training classes organized for willing learners enamoured by this extraordinary skill and in due course the world got the first glimpses of this unique art. Further it was traverse for commercial transactions wherein the women would fulfil orders and get paid for it.  This led to a new wave of art outstanding  practitioners and soon it became a respectable means of earning a modest income.

In today’s times, rural women still see it as a means to additive the spare income of their households. Many do a lot of kantha work for traders in Kolkata and to export. The price of kantha embroidered saris lies on the cost of the fabric and the patterns used to decorate them.  Borders and Pallus of Saris are mainly adorned by beautiful  Kantha work set of unique appeal.

Kantha adorn a wide range of garments such as sarees, dupattas, shirts, bedding and a variety of other fabrics in cotton and silk. Old saris and dhotis are modify by kantha work to serve as gifts for beloved ones even today.

Shop Kantha from west Bengal and amaze yourself with beauty held with it.