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Ultimate Upcycling - the Vibrancy and Life of Vintage Kantha Quilts

Ultimate Upcycling - the Vibrancy and Life of Kantha Quilts

The village women of Bangladesh take the beautiful fabric from their old saris and stitch them together to make these beautiful Kantha quilts. Several layers of fabric are combined and held together with lines of stitches called Kantha.
You can clearly see the lines of white Kantha stitches on this Golden Flowers quilt. The large flower pattern occupies just part of the quilt and the reverse is quite different, follow the link to see the rest of the quilt.

Vintage Kantha Quilt with Large Golden Flowers

What's so astonishing is the vibrancy and life in the fabrics themselves - and the variety of colour and pattern. In this article we'll look at some close-up photographs of the fabrics with links to the quilts where you can see the whole quilt.

Giant Paisley Design Kantha Quilt

The detail in the photo above shows just a small corner of a wonderful Kantha that is dominated by a wonderful Giant Paisley design. As a side note, the Paisley design is based on the shape of the mango fruit.

Sometimes we find it hard to give a choose to a name for a particular Kantha quilt that has so much going on in the design. The Orange, Grey and Cream Abstract Tiger Pattern Kantha is a good example! A wonderful quilt and if you look closely at the photo below you'll see that the stitching is in squares which create a separate pattern under the print.

Orange, Grey and Cream Abstract Tiger Pattern Kantha Quilt

Sometimes both sides could be considered the 'top' side - like with the Green and Pink Reversible Kantha in the next two photos. A real bonus here, two totally different but equally interesting sides - an organic green print on one side that could make you think of leaves flowing in a river and a small elegant all over pink print with a delicate border on the reverse.

Green and Pink Reversible Vintage Kantha Quilt

Green and Pink Reversible Vintage Kantha Quilt

The prints can be breathtakingly beautiful like this vibrant red fabric with printed leaves and flowers in subtle shades of coffee that create a pattern you might expect to see on a Japanese kimono.

Floral Kantha Quilt

Going to the other extreme, this Multicoloured Kantha with Red and Gold Flowers is exuberant in it's combination of colour and pattern, even more so when you see the whole quilt with several other panels of different fabric.

Multicoloured Kantha Quilt with Red Gold Flowers

The Golden Yellow and Cerise Vintage Kantha Quilt has a bonus hidden away near one of the borders - the name of the company who printed the fabric!

Golden Yellow and Cerise Vintage Kantha Quilt

The Black and Apricot with Grey Flowers Kantha has a dramatic print on one side, as the name suggests, and this delicate floral pastel print on the other - another example of two wonderful quilts in one, and again hard to choose which to regard as the top side.

Golden Yellow and Cerise Vintage Kantha Quilt


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