The Kantha Embroidery is the largely popular form of embroidery practiced by the rural women of West Bengal. The Kantha embroidery is specially done in dhoti and sarees. The thread of this craft was drawn from the borders of the used cloth. It is simple just running stitches which are made on the edges. When five to six layers of the cloth were embroidered it together forms a coverlet. The fewer layers of the cloth are used to make clothes for other purposes. The outer portion of the layers of the cloth comprises of white or light coloured clothes that make the embroidery more appreciable. It depends on the finished products which are known as Lepkantha, Sujni Kantha etc. stitch is found in the covers for mirrors, boxes, pillows etc. The entire cloth is covered with running stitches. It is also seen beautiful folk motifs, floral motifs, animal and birds figure and geometrical shapes are widely used in Kantha Embroidery sarees of Bengal. The themes are also taken from the day to day lives which are very common subjects for the embroidery. This embroidered cloth is used as stoles for women and shawls. The embroidery stitches on the cloth gives a slight wrinkled wavy effect.
The Kantha embroidered stitches can be seen on the present day garments like sarees, dupatta, shirts for men and women, bedding and other furnishing fabrics. The base fabric is used in cotton and silk. There are varieties in Kantha to provide different purposes. The designed is first traced and then it is covered with the running stitches. Kantha stitch has various designs for almost every working woman and can bring about countless inventions for any and every occasions in one’s life. The basic traditional sarees have the conventional shapes of kantha, but the trendy ones have exquisite modrn designs. There is another style of Kantha that has a border with a repeat design done in mending stitch giving it almost a weaving look. A good bit of Kantha is done in white thread on black background.
Kantha is very popular in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, India. Kantha is very popular tourist visiting spot in Bolpur or Shantiniketan, in India. The use of Kantha is a popular sarees traditionally worn by women in Bengal. Many Kantha stitch blouse are also available. Exclusive designer pure silk sarees has a Kantha stitch all over the body with a beautiful blouse attached with the pallu. Blouse piece has embroidery on the necklace and on the sleeves.
The Kantha stitch work is seen in traditional sarees and antique embroidery work of Bengal which is famous all over the world. It can also be designed with modern and contemporary design with sequins and bead work also. Ready made sarees in Kantha stitch are available in various designs and colours. The embroidered traditional sarees are hugely used by the among the Indian women as they display the sophistication and style in their design. Embroidered pure silk sarees are made in the western region and display a rich fabric tradition.
There are various ranges of crepe Kashmiri embroidered sarees that is made using high quality fabric. The sarees are very easy to wash and are maintained well.