November 29, 2016

The Kantha Quilting Tradition: versatility and warmth


Some of the best things come out of necessity and kantha is not an exception. Bengali women began kantha quilting centuries ago to keep their loved ones warm,  especially infants. The first written mention of kantha is in a   500 year old text, where a man who speaks of a kantha sent to him by his mother. 
In Sanskrit, the word kantha means rags. Several layers of used cloth are pieced together and bound with a simple running stitch. The result is a soft, brightly colored textile that can be used for many purposes. The thickness can vary to make clothing, tablecloths, quilts, rugs and more. Over time, kantha making has become an art form, where women incorporate designs into the stitching to tell a story or to add a signature motif. Some kantha makers now even incorporate traditional hand block printing to embellish the quilts.

Not only is each quilt beautiful and one of a kind, its versatility makes it an essential for the home. Each is “dorukha”: reversible. Each side is equally stunning!

Cargo carries clothing and jewelry made from or inspired by kantha, as well as light to heavy weight kantha quilts made from velvety cotton and vintage silk saris. Click here to find all of our online kantha collection. Our brick and mortar store has a very large assortment. Stay tuned as we keep adding new kantha inspired pieces by clicking here.  

Neeru kamar jacket