Kantha Quilts and Scarves

Embroidery Indian Bedspreads Kantha quilts Kantha scarves Quilts

Bengali kantha fabrics

Kantha is a type of embroidery stitching typical of rural Bengal. Village women recycle old saris to make quilts, shawls and cushions in which several layers of fabric may be layered up and patched, combined to create a new item - what we would today call upcycling.
The wonder of Kantha Quilts is the variety and extraordinary beauty of the fabrics.
This quilt has a wonderful art nouveau fabric with elegant leaves and flowers in a soft rust and charcoal print.

Rust and Charcoal Floral Art Nouveau Print Kantha Quilt

Kantha is the running stitch that holds the different layers of fabric together or acts as a decorative stitching pattern overlaying the patterned fabric.
The reverse side is usually a different pattern which gives you two quilts in one like this example below where the Kantha stitching also creates its own pattern of squares. One side is a strong floral print with red and turquoise flowers and leaves on a black background, the reverse is a fifties style leaf design in lime and pink on a black background.

Red and Turquoise Large Floral Kantha Quilt
Reverse of Turquoise and Red Floral Kantha Quilt

Kantha quilts are some of the most popular items in our store and I'm always delighted to hear people exclaiming how amazing they are, calling to their friends to "come and look at this one". Often a bright pattern on one side is matched with a quieter design and colour palette on the reverse giving you two designs that may match the different seasons - like on the Lilac and Pink quilt below.

Strawberry Print Kantha Quilt
Reverse of Strawberry Print Kantha Quilt

Patching and repairing is a feature of up cycling these beautiful fabrics and making them into completely unique works of art - works of art that make wonderful throws for a sofa, colourful panels to hang over a balcony or on the wall, as well as great bed covers. They've been washed many times and have a gentle soft feel of old cotton. 
These quilts have all had a life, that's the wonder of them.

Both sides of Blue Squares Vintage Kantha Quilt

How old are they? Generally between 20 and 60 years, different fabrics in a Kantha may be different ages. Several layers of fabric are bound together by the stitching, sometimes you can see traces of the fabric underneath and sometimes the top layer is partly worn away to reveal the fabric underneath.
Some of the oldest Kanthas may be a hundred years old, they're usually white with many patches and tight wavy stitching - and the very finest may sell for over £1000!

Vintage Kantha Quilt

We get a fresh supply of Kantha quilts every few months, we've been fortunate to meet a delightful family from Bengal who find beautiful pieces for us. To see our latest  collection, click here

Stitching Kantha Quilts2


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published