The Story of Kantha

In India, the universe is frequently spoken of as a "woven fabric" where everything and everyone has a place. Fabric itself is a symbol of wholeness and the piecing of fabrics together, to give new life to them, was and still is considered sacred. One of the earliest known forms of repurposing and embroidery, the origins of Kantha date back over a thousand years. In earlier times, women would preserve old cloth to be made into heirloom blankets, often with elaborate stitching that told a story. Intricate needlework and designs were passed down from generation to generation, and specific thread coloring and designs were known to certain regions detailing daily life, spiritual beliefs and family traditions. Kantha, as we know it today, with its telltale running hand stitch, was revived in the 1980's by Shamlu Dudeja who brought the craft back to life when she founded SHE (Self Help Enterprise) to help empower rural women through Kantha embroidery. For the past 40 years, Kantha has been making appearances in homes in extraordinary ways. From the beautiful, one of a kind, Vintage Kantha throws that started it all to a whole new range of products to include Kantha stitched bedding, jackets and apparel made from Kantha throws, and Kantha furniture, handcrafted in the USA and covered in beautiful Kantha. Slowly, one stitch at a time, these female artisans are maintaining this long held tradition of up-cyling fabrics, hand stitching them into treasured textiles, and creating a means to support themselves through their own entrepreneurship.

To read more about the impact of Kantha on women: https://www.academia.edu/7637451/Opportunities_and_Constraints_of_the_Kantha-stitch_craftswomen_in_Santiniketan_a_value_chain_analysis