THE TRADITION OF KANTHA

 As we are becoming more conscious of environmental issues, this has lead to customers wanting to change from mass produced products to a more sustainable form of living, hence, there has been a surge in more authentic crafts, especially handmade and trying to change how we use Kantha embroidery as  an indigenous household craft, due to its uniqueness and ability to tell a story and as a form of personal and artistic expression.

 A craft form practiced by rural women in South East Asia. Kantha embroidery originated as a way of recycling old or unused cotton sarees and dhotis, in order to create household items such as quilts, comforters, shawls, home linen and more. Kantha embroidery was traditionally done over layers of soft dhotis and saris, using a simple running stitch.

 More contemporary forms of Kantha however uses white cotton or silk as a base fabric. An entire piece of fabric may be covered with running Kantha stitch and in different shapes – creating beautiful motifs of flowers, animals, birds, geometrical shapes as well as themes from everyday activities. A finished piece of Kantha embroidery – has multiple lines of running stitch all over it – and hence a slightly wrinkled appearance.

Contemporary forms of Kantha craft find expression in sarees, stoles, apparel, home linen and accessories using cotton and silk. Kantha still maintains a strong cultural and social significance in South East Asian society. Techniques used in Kantha embroidery are passed down from mother to daughter and has become a means of livelihood and yet remains a household craft.

 At Ishq we are proud to be part of the family in preserving the kantha craft tradition in a contemporary world and lifestyle. Our Kantha throws are truly unique, using honest and sustainable products. The beauty of this is its versatility. It can be used to adorn a bed, sofa or even used for a picnic!