The Art of Kantha Embroidery

Of all the exotic textiles that emerge from Asia, possibly the most exciting and intricate are those that incorporate Kantha embroidery – the decorative running stitch motifs used by the rural women in Bangladesh and West BengalIndia. The variety of products they create – quilts, bags, scarves and shawls – are nothing short of spectacular.

Like many things “made in India,” work is typically initiated as a social project to earn extra money. Women from the local communities gather together while the men are out working.

The process begins as two pieces of fabric, generally vintage silk or cotton saris, are intricately sewn together by hand. The particular motif used depends on tradition that is passed down from mother to daughter over the generations.

Since each product is intended for someone in particular, the recipient gets to infuse his or her mark by choosing the fabric for the top layer. Other distinguishing details, such as beads, sequins, initials and special knots interwoven into the fabric, are often evident and further add to the personalized touch of the finished piece.

As one can imagine, the process is arduous and time-consuming. However, each resulting creation is not just exquisite, but completely unique.

Found Object has been collecting Kantha pieces over the course of many years. The latest finds are a result of a recent trip to India. With the assistance of Kishur, a local connection, Jude and Salvo were able to pick up a wonderful selection of pillows, bags and scarves – all available for purchase.

Our upcoming sales:

May 29 Kantha Weekender Totes US sale on fab.com

June 10 Kantha Scarves US sale on foundary.com

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