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The History Of Katha Embroidery: From Ancient India To Modern Times

The History Of Katha Embroidery: From Ancient India To Modern Times

Let’s check out the interesting Kantha embroidery history and how it gained immense popularity after it evolved into a modern outfit.

Kantha Embroidery

Kantha embroidery is a form of embroidery traditionally practiced in rural Bengal. This beautiful art represents the talent of the artisans of Bengal. It consists of simple running stitches often in a single thread, to create intricate patterns.

The stitching is usually done by rural women in Bengal. Traditionally, this embroidery was used for making Bengali sarees and quits. But with the evolving times, Kantha of Bengal made its way right into the heart of Indian fashion.

It is done by recycling old clothes, layering them, and stitching them together. It often incorporates motifs from everyday life such as flowers, birds, animals as well as geometric and abstract designs.

Nowadays, you can see Bengal Kantha embroidery on dupattas, shawls, and even on the pillow cover. However, the Kantha embroidery history dates back to the pre-Vedic age. It has an interesting tale behind its ancient origin.

Kantha Embroidery Origin

The origin of Kantha stitch sarees dates back to the Pre-Vedic age. The word Kantha is derived from the Sanskrit word “Kontha” which means rugs. According to an ancient tale, Lord Buddha and his disciples used old rugs to cover themselves on winter nights. This marks the birth of traditional Kantha embroidery.

The rural women started stitching old sarees by layering them together. They also created different running stitches on the sarees to make blankets out of them. Kantha embroidery of Bengali started as a comfortable fabric and has now become a raging fashion trend.

Types Of Kantha Stitch Embroidery

Running Kantha Stitch – This type of embroidery work is subdivided into two categories. These are called Nakshi Kantha (figured embroidery) and Par Tola (patterned embroidery).

Lahori Kantha – This Kantha embroidery is more popular in Rajshahi, Bangladesh. It has been categorized into three primary forms of stitching known as the “Kautar Khupi” (simple straight stitch), the “Pigeon Coop” (triangular stitch), and the “Borfi” (diamond shape stitch).

Lik Or Anarasi – This Kantha embroidery is from the Jessore area of Bangladesh. This kind of embroidery has several variations such as tan, lik, tile, lik jhumka, and lik lahori.

Cross Stitch Or Carpet – The Carpet Kantha stitching technique was introduced in Bengal during colonial rule.

Sujni Kantha – This type of Kantha work is done only in the Rajshahi area of Bangladesh. Floral and wine motifs are used to create unique patterns on the fabric through the stitching process.

Modern Kantha Embroidery –

Kantha embroidery of Bengal has experienced immense growth in the fashion industry. It has created its place in the list of Bengal famous sarees. Although, the traditional Kantha embroidery is still preferred by several households in Bengal.

This rural Bengal embroidery is also used now on dupattas, sherwani, and dhoti kurtas. The Kantha work embroidery marks a signature for style in any person who wears it. It can make you look like the most stylish woman in a glamorous outfit.

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