Kantha Embroidery of West Bengal

The Kantha Embroidery is the predominantly the most popular form of embroidery practiced by the rural women. The traditional form of Kantha embroidery was done the soft dhotis and saris. The thread for this craft was drawn out of the borders of the used cloth. It is a simple running stitch made on the edges. When five to six layers of the cloth were embroidered together it formed a quilt. Fewer layers of the cloth is used to make clothes for other purposes. The outer layers of the cloth comprises of white or light colored clothes which made the embroidery perceptible. Depending on the use of the finished product they were known as Lepkantha, Sujni Kantha etc. The embroidered cloth is used as stoles for women and shawls. The clothes also find use as covers for mirrors, boxes, pillows etc. The entire cloth is covered with running stitches and usually has beautiful folk motifs, floral motifs, animal and birds figures and geometrical shapes. Themes from day to day activities are also a common subject for the embroidery. Such stitches on the cloth give it a slight wrinkled wavy effect. The contemporary Kantha is not necessarily done on old multiple layered saris or dhotis. It can also be seen on the present day garments like the sarees, dupatta, shirts for men and women, bedding and other furnishing fabrics. For these fabrics and dresses the base fabric used is cotton and silk.

Malika's Kantha Collection
4/1, Alipore Park Road
Kolkata 700 027
Tel: +91 033 24797852 /24799002
Email: malikakantha@gmail.com
Website: www.sheindia.org

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