What is Kantha Fabric?
The History of Kantha Fabric
The term “Kantha” literally translates into ‘rags’ and perhaps refers to the recycled vintage fabrics and refurbishing methods that are used for creating a splendid new textile.
The Kantha stitch is a simple ‘running’ stitch. If you research some of the most ancient forms of indigenous embroideries, you will find that Kantha is one of the most popular ones. With its origins in the pre-Vedic times, Kantha was perhaps first found in ‘Chaitanya Charitamrita’, an ancient book written by Krishnadas Kaviraj 500 years ago.
The Kantha embroidered fabric belongs to West Bengal. In fact, it is a key symbol displaying the talent and skill of the women living in the rural areas of Bengal. Traditionally, Kantha style of embroidery was seen only on quilts, sarees and dhotis. Today, it is a popular form of embroidery utilized in several modern silhouettes by the Indian fashion industry.
The yarn of the Kantha fabric comes from ancient saree borders. The designs are traced and ultimately covered with simple running stitches. Now it is easy to find the traditional Kantha embroidery on dupattas, kurtas, shawls and even pillow covers and other home furnishings.
Inspirations behind Kantha Fabric: Colours and Motifs
Since old dhotis and sarees were the original source of Kantha threads, the colours prevalent in this type of embroidery are those commonly found in daily life-yellow, red, green, black and blue. Natural substances were used for making the dyes of Kantha fabric. Modern Kantha fabrics typically have an off-white fabric as the base as this allows the beautiful embroidered thread colours to stand out and give life to the garment.
Ancient Kantha embroiders often looked to everyday folk scenes to get their inspiration. The designs and motifs in original Kantha embroidery also drew their inspiration from the ancient arts. Majority of these symbols depicted some form of nature, like trees, the sun or the universe.
Over a period of time, Kantha embroidery evolved and was used as a channel of religious and cultural expression. The influence of Hinduism led to Kantha being used in pujas and ceremonies, including birth occasions and weddings. You will find that the ‘lotus’ symbol is quite popular in traditional Hindu Kantha. This is because the lotus flower is considered to be sacred in Hinduism and often represents the life power that the sun and water have to offer.
The Upcoming Range of Kantha Kurtas at Farida Gupta
We are extremely excited to have launched our new range of Kantha kurtas and are absolutely certain that they will be loved you! The collection brings to you traditional Rajasthani Bagru and Sanganer prints on kurtas, highlighted with delicate sequins work and modern designing. We have also created a special range of Ajrak print farsi pants to pair with these straight-cut kurtas.