What is Kantha?

What is Kantha?

With countless blankets that we refer to as “kantha throws”, “kantha quilts“, “indigo kantha”, or “kantha blankets“, you might simply awe, what is kantha? Know more about – History of Kantha

Kantha (simply means : “patched cloth”) refers to both the tradition of producing these unique, colorless quilted blankets (making something useful and alluring out of discarded and unused items), as well as the craft and stitch itself (a small, straight running stitch specially in Bengali embroidery).


Kantha is a classical type of embroidery native to eastern South Asia, in particular Bangladesh and the neighbouring Indian states of West Bengal and Odisha, along the Bay of Bengal. For this logic, it is treated a craft of the Bengal region (“Bengali”), which is not the same as Bangladeshi (meaning, of the country of Bangladesh).

All of our kantha blankets are hand-stitched in Bangladesh, but other retailers may receive them from India. Formally, it is pronounced KAHN-taa, (nevertheless we will unofficially continue to incorrectly call it “can-tha”).

For as many as 500 centuries, impoverished Bengali women have taken their discarded cloth scraps and sewn them together with a simple running stitch; taking the old and reimposing it into something useful and possessive. Far from trend-setting, or even artfulness, kantha was constructed originally for the most basic and practical aspiration: to keep warm.

Over time, kantha developed as a generational artistry, a craft that could symbolically impart story, desire, and well-wishing for loved ones & gift recipients. Elaborate kantha were made as wedding gifts or gifts for mothers and for generations, with stories, history and wishes weaved in, allowing illiterate women to leave a eternal mark.

Kantha Today :

Today, the rich tradition of kantha has attained popularity in the West; no surprise, given the beauty, intricacy, and “wow” factor of each piece.

As we culturally trend away from disposable consumer goods, and en-route meaningful, well stitched goods with a low environmental buffet, Kantha blankets happily fit the bill.

The cloth is repurposed, which means no new dyes or inks (except for the environmentally happy natural indigo blankets), no by-products of production; the only factory-produced supplies we use are thread and new, undyed, natural cotton (for our modern quilts).

Our kantha blankets — sometimes called sari quilts or homemade quilts— are not made of rugs, nor do they feature deliberately designed stitch patterns. But, they are indeed formed and fashioned from old cloth that has been junked and is ready for new life.

Our “special” silk-blend blankets are made from silk-blend cloth discarded by the producers for flaws, colour variation, out-dated arrangement, or as remnants. All the cloth that makes kantha blankets sold at vintagekanthaquilt is sourced mainly in West Bengal.

All of vintage kantha quilts & other goods are made at vintagekanthaquilt ;

Thickness: Each layer of sari cloth is very thin (imagine a soft muslin for a baby swaddle), so if there are only 2, the blanket will be very light. The standard one is 3 layered. This is the most common thickness in the native regions, but region where cold in heavy there generally 6 layered are used to keep the body warm.

Our kantha quilts are made with 3 layers of sari cloth. We also accept customized orders where we construct quilts based on requirement of customers – pattern ,size and other. The final product is still not bulky, but definitely as “robust” as kantha come. They are light weighted, but provide a good warmth, as well. (Any kantha made with new cloth, like our modern paisley, fruit and floral blanket, have additional thickness & weight) and are accepted worldwide.

Stitching : How heavy do you expect the running stitches to be? A blanket with very tight, close stitching will have a more stark, generous feel than stitching that is farther apart.

Edge Stitching : This is where a more inexpensively produced, lower quality kantha will divulge itself. A well-made kantha should have a straight edge, with a kantha stitch right up to the edge, hinder any erode or interior cloth coming out.

Our kantha are stitched with rigor all around!

Color / Fading : Keep in mind that if a kantha quilt features faded or very pastel colors, it is more likely that the fabric has been more frequently washed, or is old; the fibres may break down more quickly than other fabrics. Consider this as uniqueness and charm as these are rare. Women in Bengal (who are originally wearing these saris) love different color & vibrance, so these are what you will (should) mostly find with authentic kantha blankets.

Cost : Of course, we are all cost-conscious. But, there is a large amount of labour involved in generating even a single kantha throw. Our kantha throws take, on average, 24-48 hours to handcraft and for final finish. Our kantha blankets are all made in a generous, safe, whole-hearted business by vulnerable & at-risk women who can work with dignity and work to earn livelihood.

We have a strong belief from our products and are confident that you won’t find a kantha that is as unique, colourful, versatile, rich in story, or as well-constructed as our hand-stitched kantha quilts.

Contact us to know more about patterns and vibrant colors of kantha quilts and other kantha handmade products.

What is special in Kantha Quilts ?

What is special in Kantha Quilts ?

Why we love them : Vivid, Joyful colors! Wildly knotty hand-stitching! An exotic place of beginning! What’s not to love? One of these South Asian blankets will add just the suitable amount of oomph your home needs in the sunny months ahead. Where they’re from: Kantha’s originate in Bangladesh and the eastern states of India, where women stitch together layer upon layer of old saris and shake off the cloth scraps to create thin throws used as blankets, cushions, handbags, quilts and many more attractive items.

How you say it : KAHN-taa

Where you’ve seen them: Some of our favourite boho Wholesaler of these Kantha stuff such as Vintagekanthaquilts.com or maniona have amassed a privileged collection of kanthas, which show up laid, sprawl, and crimp in effortlessly cool ways around their equally enviable homes. Scroll down for an easy-to-replicate DIY project Maniona dreamt up using one.

Fun fact: Kanthas sport different patterns on each side like geometrical, circular, Stripes, zigzag, Polka Dots and much more, and who doesn’t love a good two-for-one deal?

Naturally, as quilts, they’re overnight sensations. But blanketing your bed is not all they can do. Below are few more reasons you should covet a kantha made stuff.

Drape Beautifully Across Sofas.

Laying a kantha over the arm of your couch or love seat adds interim colour and impression to your living room and assures that you have a light cover at the handy when popcorn and a movie come calling. Take it a step ahead  by actually plaiting a quilt around your seat’s cushions to give it an instant amend without all-new upholstery.

Make Top-Shelf Tablecloths.

Gently and Beautifully patterned and thin enough that they won’t make drink glasses falter, kanthas are like the mainstay in the building blocks of a festive table setting. Spread one across your entire table, or fold it in thirds as a runner under big dish of food you’ll pass family-style. And it (almost) goes beyond saying that they make dynamic picnic blankets for casual gatherings.

Are perfect as Pillow Covers.

With their polka dots and poppy prints and bright colorways, kanthas were made to cover throw pillows. You can buy pillows already clad in kantha fabric, or take a quilt to your local tailor and have it sewn into pillows. Toss a few on the floor with a floppy cushion and—voilà!—a kid-level lounge pad fit for a laid-back adult.

Dress Up Accent Pieces.

Some ottomans and benches come already drape in kantha fabric. But if you’re the hands-on type who loves nothing more than a grafting, do what one of our favourite Maniona, did and stitch up a slowpoke of your own, an especially nice touch alongside a creamy white couch.

Kantha Quilts – The Perfect Wedding Gift for your Loved Ones

Kantha Quilts – The Perfect Wedding Gift for your Loved Ones

It all began with a wedding gift. VintageKanthaQuilt, that is.

Before beginning all of this, I was familiar with the inspiring work started by Sultan and his wife, and had a personal connection with the girl running its operations. I really wanted to buy one, but, living on a graduation student income with our family of 6, I could not quite justify the gratification.

When my friend, Joe, announced that she was engaged, I knew that it was the perfect excuse to buy one!

Joe had been widowed several years before, while pregnant with her second child. Her impending marriage to an amazing man was a glimmer of redemption from the pain & privation of the preceding years. I loved the parallel there – the empathy with women on the other side of the world who were experiencing their own mending from pain & adversity.

Beyond the deep meaning, it was also incredibly practical – she already had a house full of dishware, home Décor, furniture, small appliances, towels, & picture frames! I knew that the Kantha blanket would find some use between the Six members of their house, that it would last a lifetime, and that it would be recognized & remembered always.

Nearly 3.5 years later, it’s still true! The blanket resides on their main Chaise Lounge and is loved daily. And I have bought many, many more colorful blankets since!. I am simply in love with them, afterall these are so BEAUTIFUL!!  As the gift-giver, what more could I want?

Forget the place settings. A kantha blanket from vintagekanthaquilt is the perfect wedding gift. Not only is it unique and exquisite – no stainless steel here – it is totally memorable, and will be with the couple forever!

If you want to give a gift that will be useful, artful, lasting, and appreciated, this is it. They can snuggle in for winter movie nights, take it out for a picnic in summer, and use it every month between. It is so multi usage and at the same time perfect for anyone anywhere.

Shop now for Quilts, throws, or buy a Kantha Cushion Cover.