KANTHA / WHY WE LOVE USING THIS UNIQUE FABRIC

KANTHA / WHY WE LOVE USING THIS UNIQUE FABRIC

A whimsical mash-up of bold colours and patterns, our Kantha coats and cushions will add a little bit of boho and a whole lot of oomph to your winter wardrobe and interiors. 


As striking as they are to look at, these unique textiles also reveal a tradition rich in history and intricate beauty. The term Kantha refers to both a style of embroidery unique to India (the tradition of layering and repurposing discarded materials to create new items) as well as a stitching technique (the embellishment of fabrics with small, straight running stitches).

The technique originated in West Bengal, where women would stitch together layers of old cotton fabrics and thrown-away scraps to create items such as quilts, cushions, saris and handkerchiefs. These women weren’t setting out with the intention of creating trend-led or artistic items–the term Kantha actually means ‘rags’ in Sanskrit–but they were being practical, resourceful and unknowingly paving the way for sustainable fashion. The hereditary craft is passed down between mothers and daughters and over time has become a respected art form that empowers communities of women around the world.

These days Kantha-making involves new fabrics and has become less about the layering and more about the actual stitching technique. When we head to India to source Kantha fabrics we’ll either find something we love instantly or spend days visiting many suppliers and spending hours with each supplier pouring over their kantha swatches. We never know what we’re going to find but what’s guaranteed is that no two cloths are the same; the very nature of the Kantha embroidery technique and stitching means that each is uniquely handmade, carefully curated from double-sided fabrics adorned with a mix of elaborate patterns, geometric shapes and family motifs. I always look for kantha with no patches, I prefer one design/colour all over. I’m always drawn to green, pink and orange, I’m sure you can tell from the display picture! 

Once we’ve found the perfect cloth, we get to work on choosing which kantha is best for cushions and which is best for coats (that’s our chosen kantha in the display picture- off on the motorbike to be made into cushions and coats). Our coats are a tapered fit, using Kantha that has a border (which you’ll notice on the cuff and lapel) I think this detail adds so much to the overall look. They’re light enough for summer yet roomy enough for winter layering, making the perfect year-round addition to any wardrobe. If you see a cushion or coat you love don’t think twice, once it’s sold you will never see it again, that’s what’s so unique about them!

Visit us in store or to browse our beautifully colourful collection of Kantha coats and cushions covers, or browse the collection online.

 


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