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Kantha Embroidery

A Kantha is a type of sari popular in West Bengal, India. Worn by Bengali women, it is known for its delicate embroidery.

Kantha is really the name for the embroidery itself, rather than the sari per se. Any garment or cloth with kantha embroidery (which forms or outlines decorative motifs with running stitch) is a kantha garment.

Kantha stitching is also used to make simple quilts. Women in Bengal typically use old saris and cloth and layer them with kantha stitch to make a light blanket or throw or bedspread, especially for children. Kantha is currently very popular with tourists visiting Bengal, and is a specialty of Bolpur/Shantiniketan.

Another form of running stitch decorative stitching is the Japanese sashiko quilting.

Kantha also means throat. The Name Nilakanth is given to Lord Shiva, literally meaning “blue throat” after he swallowed the poison that arose as a result of the churning of the ocean. It is also known as the “Throat chakra”. Bengali housewives had lot of time in hand beside their daily chores. That era thread and cloth were not easily available to common people.So they started to use overused sarees or dhotis by stitching them up. They looked quite drab and like rags.so they took out strand of thread from the colorful border of the sarees.and stared to make simple designs with them. That is how simple kantha work started. Many of us has seen our grandmother’s handwork on quilts made from throw away sarees. Now this has become such a huge fashion

SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantha

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