In Sanskrit, kantha translates to ‘rags’. The name reflects how kanthas are made on layers of discarded and recycled cloth using threads from rags. One of the oldest forms of embroidery from India, kantha can be traced back to the pre-Vedic ages. Rural housewives in West Bengal aided in the evolution of kanthas as they used simple stitching techniques such as running stitch, back stitch and pattern darning stitch to create quilts, saris, dhotis, and handkerchiefs for their families. The stitching is used for quilting and for decorating. Hindu kanthas showcase human figures, animals, and scenes from local life, while the Muslim kantha, such as this one, are primarily abstract.
This rectangular kantha panel has five pink circular sun-like designs: one in the center and one in each corner. Running down the entire ground of the piece are alternating rows of black and pink vine-like designs. The final row on each side has repeating circles embroidered in pink. The border is one inch thick and it contains repeating diamond shapes in pink, surrounded on both sides by blue thread.
Circa: 19th Century
Origin: Bengal, India
Material: Cotton embroidery on cotton
Condition: Good, stain and wear consistent with age
Dimensions: 32" x 20"
Inventory number: TX4700
This rectangular kantha has five pink circular sun-like designs: one in the center and one in each corner. Running down the entire ground of the piece are alternating rows of black and pink vine-like designs.