Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kantha Embroidery of Bengal

- By Deepa Krishnan

Kantha refers to a distinct style of Bengal embroidery applied to the creation of coverlets. Traditionally the Lep kantha of old, involved poor village women sewing together layers of old cloth, mostly saris, with intricate stitches. The thread used for the purpose was pulled out of the sari itself. Their meticulous artistry transformed worn out rags into extraordinarily beautiful creations that could withstand further usage. Till today, this combination of thrift and aesthetics is not mass produced and is usually not for sale. The intricate geometry of their design and the near absence of folk motifs continue to be a notable feature of Muslim kantha-making traditions of Murshidabad.
This photo is of a group of women from Murshidabad, and the beautiful Kantha work that they produce. Murshidabad is around 250 kms north of Calcutta.

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