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

West Bengal – State of Kantha Quilts

Kantha embroidery is so much in fashion today. This widespread fashion didn’t make it popular overnight, on the contrary Kantha has evolved itself ever since its very inception which dates backs centuries ago.

Made using recycled sarees and other fabrics, Kantha could be translated roughly to rags and likely refers to as the reclaimed character of the vintage fabrics as well as repurposing manners and methods using which Kantha quilts are created by many artists. This form of embroidery is s unique and beautiful as its name and the Kantha quilts involve a beautiful and vibrant patchwork of many layers upon layers of differently patterned fabrics, some bold colors as well as a culturally rich history that is woven together with each patch, stitch as well as a stretch of a beautiful fabric.

Kantha quilts are often dyed using all the natural colors that makes the use of leaves, grains, roots and seeds such as turmeric and many others in order to make a bold statement and further brighten up the existing design and then adding more character and life to any space where you use the Kantha quilts.
The inception and the roots of Kantha stitch is worth mentioning. Considered to be one of the oldest forms of embroidery, Kantha has its roots in ancient India and the name also has a double meaning as ‘throat’, further having its roots in the story of Lord Shiva and how his neck turned blue when he tried to save humanity from a poisoned ocean. Thus, the ancient Kantha quilts often entertained ceremonial symbols as well as animals printed and stitched on to them in different patterns where they were mainly taken into use in the ceremonies like birth of a baby, weddings, etc.

The credits to the real evolution of Kantha as seen and used today goes to the women of West Bengal. In fact, West Bengal is considered to be the place of origin of Kantha. The local and rural women of West Bengal would stitch Kantha handkerchiefs, Kantha quilts and various other handmade motifs as well as personal articles using this pattern. This art was then passed down from mother to the daughter and this is how Kantha has traditionally evolved into one popular form of embroidery.

Today, this form of embroidery has garnered a huge attention in the country, and the same is being used in different forms and patterns such as quilts, curtains, blankets, dupattas, scarves, cushion covers and many more. The popularity of this embroidery is not just restricted within the boundaries of India, but the same has spread across many nations of the world, thereby giving Kantha a global recognition.
Many western homes are using several Kantha decors and design to decorate and revamp their houses into something more vibrant and colorful. Kantha has become a popular form of embroidery in the fashion world as well and a number of designers are using it in their own unique manner.

Kanthas are a symbol of culture, history, family, integrity and strength.

 


Lotus Indian National Flower Kantha Quilt

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Reasons to Buy Kantha Quilts

Kantha quilts have their origin from Southern Asia and these quilts have become one of the most trending home décor ideas of the recent times. A number of Kantha products are being sold like hotcakes and more number of people are buying these products to use them in one way or the other for the purpose of home decoration.

There are a number of reasons that would easily convince you to buy the amazing Kantha quilts and use them in your homes. Below listed are a few of them:

  1. Kantha serves as an amazing sleep space:

Kantha quilts were mainly designed for the purpose of warding off the winter cool that was experienced by the children in the rural areas of India. Thus, this is where the origin of Kantha blankets and Kantha baby quilts took place. Kantha is surely one comfortable fabric which keeps you warm and cozy throughout the cool winters. Moreover, the overall design of Kantha is just so beautiful and elegant.

  1. Kantha bedsheets are a hot fashion:

If you are a person who looks forward to buying bed-sheets which are good looking and elegant, Kantha bedsheets serve as the best choice for you. Let your mattresses embrace the beautiful, vibrant and colorful Kantha bed-sheets and take the entire decoration of your bed room to a next level. Kantha bed-sheets are beautifully designed for sure.

  1. Kantha for your table setting:

The best thing about Kantha is that it could be taken into use in a number of ways. Thus, if you are an individual who loves to design your house with all the vibrant and colorful vibes, Kantha is the pick for you. The amazing Kantha table setting for your dining table is one excellent choice to decorate your dining table and to give it a unique and different look. Arrange your cutlery over the beautifully designed Kantha table setting and it would surely catch all the eyes.

  1. Kantha Cushion Covers:

Kantha cushion covers are surely going to give a new touch to your old boring couch. The amazing patterns of Kantha can easily be woven on to the naked pillows in order to accentuate their beauty and make your décor classy and elegant. You can buy Kantha cushion covers in different designs and sizes from the market. At the same time, you can also take an old Kantha quilt into use to further turn it into amazing cushion covers. The colorful cushion covers of Kantha would surely add a beautiful theme to your house.

The fashion of Kantha is increasing with each passing day and more number of people are buying to decorate their houses following different theme, ideas and concepts. Kantha is surely one of the most versatile fabric which could be used in a number of ways. The colorful appearance of Kantha makes it a great option to use it in a number of ways. Buy these amazing Kantha accessories and begin with the new project of decorating your house with the beautiful Kantha essentials.

Connection with Vintage Kantha Quilts

It started simply with a stitch, and ends with a story.

I remember the day when I received my first quilt, progressed down to me from my mother, hand-stitched by my grandmother. It was filled up with life; her favourite colors, curved lines, witless patterns but a very fine stitch.

It was worn, assembled around the edges but kept its motherly warmth. My grandmother collected all of the quilts she made, and gave these to family members when she left us. I’ve adore mine, knowing that I’ll never get same like it, but still wanting to search something that I could start to collect, just like she did.

I found my halfway when I was first instigate to a few quilts that were labeled as “Kantha from bengal” at my husband’s shop with website https://www.vintagekanthaquilt.com.I fall in love, It was simply love at first sight; I wanted to grasp anything and everything about these beautiful kantha. Kantha refers to the kind of stitch used in the craft of this peculiar type of embroidery. The tradition began in India, where old sari is mixed and layered with worn recycled fabrics and stitched together, creating a vintage quilt. This distinct stitch gives the sari quilts and various fabrics a textured, wavy, quality. Each quilt is truly unique, and I love how each one feels like it has a unlike story.

So, I’m hooked. Here I am today, gathering and loving each vintage kantha quilt I can get my hands on. It may be the variety of pattern on each quilt that draws me in; how I can link to each stitch, after all, I’ve always been a bit all over the place, a rambling soul, a bit of everything. I fall in love with these kantha quilts, new for a new reason. I feel amazed seeing one side has Ruby red paisley prints with a vibrant patch of yellow florals, and the other has a winter snowy feel. They’re so bizzare, and so me.

Kantha is more or less like home to me. It’s something what I always wish and  love to collect; it’s what I wanted to keep near and dear to my heart. Each kantha quilt has a different story, and I’m now making these as a part of my story.

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Love for Kantha

Love for Kantha

Kantha Throw –

Perfect in their Imperfections, vintage kantha quilts are a one-of-a-kind Indian cotton textile. Impregnate with the history and pride of their rich heritage, these admirably artistic and vibrantly colored throws are made by stitching together layers of old saris together. Kantha throws or blankets provide an amazing kaleidoscope of color, completely revamp and brightening up any living space with their exotic pattern and vibrant colors.

Vintage kantha quilts are a commodity of women’s art and were produced centuries ago by some very creative Indian women. Needy women in rural area of West Bengal in India required blankets for their babies, so took the softest parts of their well-worn cotton saris and pieced them together with an all-over running stitch. This idiosyncratic stitch came to be known as kantha. These vintage throws are substantially patched, quilted and distinctly embroidered textile made entirely out of used cloth, in most cases old saris. Impregnate with the history of their rich heritage, these magnificently artistic and brightly colored throws are made by stitching together multiple layers of old recycled saris.

The best aspect about this homemade vintage quilt is the little repair patches, their loose and uneven threads that add immense character to the quilt and give It a one of a kind look. Completely hand-stitched, these quilts are such an alluring and exhilarating break from the lump produced machine made products of the day. They provide an amazing kaleidoscope of color, completely mutate and brightening up any living space with their incredible details and vibrant colors.

Vintage Kantha Quilt’s vintage throws are imported directly from the villages of West Bengal. A number of pieces come from West Bengal on the east coast and are finished by Indian artisans to give these a vibrant look.

To purchase Vintage Throws from Vintage Kantha Quilt, please contact us.

Kantha Patchwork Throws

Vintage kantha patchwork quilts or throws are a unique kind of patchwork throw that originate in West Bengal state of India. These throws represent the alluring artistry of this region of creating stunning throws and Kantha blankets from scrap fabrics.

These vintage patchwork quilts were originally made in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s by older women in the village households in India to mark peculiar occasions – be it child birth, a marriage in the family, wedding gifts or a husband transmit to faraway lands. To produce these beautiful throws, women use the softest and most beautiful parts of their old saris and other garments, cut them into random shapes and positioned them in a way to create an artistic masterpiece. They hand stitched all the layers together using thousands of tiny kantha stitches to make these beautiful Kantha Throws. The kantha stitches provided the throw with a beautiful ripple effect, creating a warm, cozy and special cover for the family. A typical patchwork throw took weeks to make, becoming a truly prized custody of the family and being passed down as an heirloom.

These patchwork Kantha throws could age anywhere between 30 to 80 years. Their age can be seen in the softness of the fabric and the washed out colours. Some throws we obtain are literally disintegrating in places! Some damaged portions are remodeled with interesting patches which add further to the personality and uniqueness of the throws.

Though these throws were created decades ago, their glimpse and feel as stylish and contemporary as any modern throw. Their vibrant and beautiful colours are what truly catch the eye and attention.

Indian bedspreads

We have a selection of single, double and king and queen-size decorative Indian bedspreads to beautify your home or living room. Our exclusive collection of vintage and contemporary Indian bedspreads that reflect the richness of Indian textiles will reconstruct your interior into a majestic palace. Transit yourself on an exotic voyage with our luxury handmade, colourful and embroidered Indian bedspreads; with mirror work, tapestry, pure cottons, soft velvet and delicate silk patterns and styles. Our range is so versatile; you can easily modernize your living space throughout the seasons and bring a flush of to uplift the ambiance of any setting.

Indian quilts

Sleep in style with beautiful vintage Indian quilts. At Home Soul we source all our ethical Indian quilts from the finest suppliers. Bringing a touch of charm to tailor design any space, we have a wide-range of colors to suit different schemes. These timeless exotic Indian quilts can be used as bed covers or throws as a feature for an abundance of glamour and vintage romance. Pretty patchwork and printed pure cottons look gorgeous against antique wood or soft fabrics to refresh and revamp the vibe of master and guest bedrooms alike. Indian quilts are made from fabric with intricate floral and fruit patterns, pieced together and then stitched all over with running hand stitch to make the most exquisite bedding, owing to their softness and comfort.  Indian quilts are perfect for dressing up bohemian chic bedrooms with neutral paint schemes for their high visual appeal and home design.

Handmade Kantha cushions

Be inspired to embellish your home living with our assortment of sophisticated handmade cushions. Add a hint of colour to your home with extravagant, hand-stitched vintage kantha pieces. Home Soul offers a wide choice of handmade cushions including Kantha Cushion Cover, Bird print Cushions, Floral and fruit cushion cover, patchwork style all finished to the highest standard. While it may seem simple, colour coordination offers a range of possibilities for exciting enhancement to complement almost any kind of home design, in the bedroom, office or reception areas, lounge, dining room or conservatory. The buoyant colours and delicious hand stitched patterns bring flow and energy to tired sofas and a striking contrast to wormy bold coloured upholstery. Individuality in rooms can be as breath-taking or subtle as you like with our handmade cushions, in fact choosing a matching palette of colours for your home canvas will help rooms flow together optically and feel more inviting. Help balance monochromatic motif with a colourful twist on tradition, setting the mood of your home for a tempting aesthetic. A contrast of colours not only creates a feel of delicacy and luxury, but can impact remarkably on the perception of the size of rooms. The sky is the limit with our handmade Kantha cushion collection so enjoy your playful pairing and personalized décor makeover.

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