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Kantha Stitch Sarees

Kantha stitch sarees, an unique story of embroidery

Every saree has a distinct story to tell. But the story that a Kantha stitch saree has in its kitty is all the way unique. This story begins from the rags of a Bengali household. Kantha stitch is one of the simplest forms of embroidery that creates amazing designs which is the magic of the hands of women in rural Bengal. Since ages in Bengal and its neighbouring states including Bihar and Orissa, rags such as old sarees, dhotis etc  are used to be made into quilts by stitching several clothes together with simple running stitch. To make these quilts more beautiful various designs such as flowers, birds, elephants and many more are made by the same running stitch. These rag quilts are called ‘Kantha’ in Bengali and the embroidery on them is known as Kantha stitch.

The story of the journey from Kantha to saree…

Interestingly the origin of this Kantha stitch dates back to pre-vedic era approximately around 1500 BCE. Generally used on Kantha or rag quilts this running stitch or Kantha stitch gradually became a part as well as conveyer of the Indian culture. It gave birth to Bengal’s tapestry or ‘nakshi kantha’ or designer kantha where with the running stitch various folklores, religious scriptures, mythical stories along with normal flower or animal designs were made. Eventually, this magical form of embroidery now ornaments sarees with its simple but gorgeous designs.

In the world of sarees Kantha stitch sarees are known for its elegance and simplicity. For Kantha stitch sarees mostly cotton and silk fabrics are used as base saree material. Mangalgiri cotton, pure southern cotton, Tussar or Tussar silk and even pure silk are some of the common fabrics that are used for making Kantha stitch sarees. Tussar silk Kantha stitch sarees and pure silk Kantha stitch sarees are the most loved ones among all types of Kantha stitch for its softness, lustrous texture and light weight along with the stylish and graceful look. Bolpur Shantiniketan, Birbhum district, West Bengal is specially famous for its fine katha stitch Tussar silk sarees and kantha stitch cotton sarees.

In a Kantha stitch saree the variety of designs or ‘naksha’ is the main attraction. Usually woven by hand with colourful cotton or silk threads on nude coloured silk or cotton cloths these sarees are one of the finest instances of home-crafts or handicrafts of rural Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Bangladesh. There are seven distinct types of Kantha stitches which include Lep kantha or wavy and rippled patterns used for making quilt and blankets, Sujani kantha or a filled in design that is first sketched on the fabric and then stitched, Baiton kantha or rows stitched with colourful threads on a saree, Oaar kantha or border stitches, Archilata kantha or big bold colourful motifs, Thalia kantha or lotus design, Rumal kantha usually used for making handkerchiefs using lotus design with borders. In recent times there are huge variety in Kantha stitch sarees that include Kantha stitch silk saree, Kantha stitch tussar, Kantha stitch cotton, Jamdani Kantha stitch, Batik kantha stitch sarees and many more which comprise a big part of our collection. Besides Kantha sarees, there are other variety of superfine embroidery sarees, handloom sarees, Jamdani sarees, Tant sarees and Linen sarees in our huge collection that can concur any saree lover’s heart.  

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