Kantha Enbroidery of West Bengal


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A kantha is rich multicolored embroidery from West Bengal. • It is done with simple running stitches. Rural women in Bengal typically use discarded saris, dhotis and cloth and layer them with stitches to make a quilt, light blanket shawls, throws or bedspread. Know more about Westbengal and various types of Kantha stiches through this PPT and theotherhome.com

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Kantha Enbroidery of West Bengal

  1. 1. Kantha Embroidery OF WESTBENGAL
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION• A kantha is rich multicoloredembroidery from West Bengal.• It is done with simple runningstitches. Rural women in Bengaltypically use discarded saris, dhotisand cloth and layer them with stitchesto make a quilt, light blanket shawls,throws or bedspread.• Kantha shows the folk expression ofthe embroiderys art.• General motifs used in kanthaembroidery are human figures, animal,floral symbols, fishes and tree .
  3. 3. FABRIC USED• Fabric on which the kantha is done are usually the old fabrics that arealready underwent various washings.•The threads used for embroidery are mainly White, red, green, yellow,black and blues in colour. Cotton threads are usually used for embroidery.•Different patterns like birds, fishes,kalka, mandala, mythological storiesare also figured .
  4. 4. GLOBAL PRESENCE•Kantha embroidery is practiced in Bangladesh and Bihar.•This art is not only confined to India but also getting internationalexposures through Indian designers outlets. Tarun Tahiliani, a wellknown designer from India has opened several outlets of his kanthagarments in London, Paris, Santa Fe and Washington.
  5. 5. •Various products are made using this embroidery eg. women’s suits, sarees,scarves, bags, shirts , quilts, pillow-cases etc.Kantha Products
  6. 6. • The oldest kantha date fromthe early 1800s and is embroideredwith blue, black and red threadsthat were unravelled from sariborders.KANTHAS have been made usingthe same technique and motifs,for centuries.• Traditionally a Kantha is made ofold used cloth, generally a worn outsari; it was also essentially a domesticitem, made by poor women fordomestic use rather than display.• Only recently has Kantha makingbeen“discovered”, and is nowconsidered to be a craft worthpreserving and interest has been revived in traditional motifs and colors.HISTORY
  7. 7. FLOW CHART• Phase 1: The artisans make somesketches of design, accordingly toa specific frame size of desired product.The sheets of paper have beenpreviously cut so that the designswill fit in a frame according to themeasures of the cloth used for product.
  8. 8.  Phase 2: The best designs are selected and are practiced by everyartisans until the motif is perfectly done Phase 3: The designs are pierced on a tracing paper
  9. 9. • Phase 4: The cloth that will be used for theproduct is cut according to the same measuresas taken for the phase 1, so that the motifsdesigned on the paper will perfectly fit on thecloth.• Phase 5: The motifs pierced on the tracingpaper are printed on the cloth, using a blackproduct;
  10. 10.  Phase 6: The artisans add colours tothe motifs designed on the sheetof paper; they will be the final model ofthe pattern for the product; the morebeautiful combination of colours are selected• Phase 7: The artisans can start stitching on the cloth, accordingly to thefinalcoloured model of the design.
  11. 11. TYPESThere are seven different typesof Kantha:• Lep Kantha: rectangular wrapsheavily padded to make warmcoverlets• Sujani Kantha: rectangularpieces of cloth used as blankets or spreadson ceremonial occasions.• Baiton Kantha: square wraps usedfor covering books and other valuables.They are elaborately patterned withborders of several rows of colorfuldesigns.• Oaar Kantha: rectangular pillow coversin simple designs with a decorativeborder sewn around the edges.Lep kanthaSujanikanthaBaiton kanthaOaarKantha
  12. 12. • Archilata Kantha: small, rectangularcovers for mirrors or toilet accessorieswith wide, colourful borders in assortedmotifs.• Durjani/thalia Kantha: small rectangleswith a central lotus design and embroideredborders. Three corners of the rectangle arefolded inward to form a wallet.• Rumal kantha are used asabsorbent wipes or platecoverings. They also featurea central sun withornamented borders. DurjanikanthaRumal kanthaArchilatakantha
  13. 13. BordersMost nakshi kanthas have some kind of border.Either a sari border is stitched on or a borderpattern is embroidered around the kantha.The common border found are as follows:The Paddy stalk or date branch (dhaner shishor khejur chari)The Scorpion border(Biche par in Bengali)The motor dana, the pea boderThe Eye border (chok par in Bengali)The Wavy or bent Border (Beki in Bengali)The Amulet border (Taabiz par in Bengali)The Diamond border (Barfi)The Necklace border (mala par in Bengali)The panch tagaThe Bisa tagaThe Anaj tagaThe shamuk tagaThe wrench borderThe anchor (grafi par in Bengali)
  14. 14. MOTIFS• Motifs of the kantha are deeply influenced by religious belief and culture . Themotifs may include images of flower and leaves, birds and fish, animals, kithenforms even toilet articles.•The notable motifs found in kantha are as follows:Lotus motif• The represents the life-giving power of water, and is alsoassociated with the sun for the opening and closing of thepetals.• It is also the symbol of the recreating power of life. Thelotus is associated with purity and the goddess Laksmi,the goddess of good fortune and abundance.Solar motifThe solar motif symbolizes the life giving power of thesun. The sun is associated with the fire which plays asignificant part in Hindu rites, both religious andmatrimonial.
  15. 15. Moon motifThe moon motif has a religious influence, andis popular amongst the Muslims. Mostly it isin the form of a crescent moon accompaniedby a star.Wheel motifThe wheel is a common symbol in Indian art,both Hindu and Buddhist. It is the symbol oforder. The wheel also represents the world.Tree of Life motifContemporary Kantha (used as a wall hanging)with animal, fish, butterfly, tree and humanfigure motif. Indus people conceived the pipalas the Tree of Life...with the devata insideembodying the power of fecundity. Pipal issacred to the Buddha because he receivedenlightenment under its shade.
  16. 16. Swastika motifIt is symbol of good fortune. With the passage of time,the design is more curvilinear than the four armedswastika of the Mohenjo-Daro seal. The symbolicdesign has significant influence in Hinduism,Buddhism, and Jainism.Kalka motifThe kalka or paisley motif originated in Persia andKashmir and has become an integral image of thesub continental decorative motif. It can becompared with a stylized leaf, mango or flame.Similar motifs can be found in traditional KashmiriShawls.
  17. 17. THANK YOUThe Other Homewww.theotherhome.com(Vacational Rental | Homestays | OutdoorAdventure)Tel: +91-11-65028027 / 26225380Email : info@theotherhome.com(Travel Blog | Photo Blog)