Pillow with Kantha Embroidery

Kantha stithes in detail

Kantha is a type of embroidery, popular in West Bengal. It consists of a simple running stitch and it is popular in “Kantha saris” traditionally worn by women in Bengal. Kantha stitching is also used to make simple quilts, commonly known as Nakshi Kantha. Women in Bengal typically use old saris and cloth and layer them with kantha stitch to make a light blanket, throw or bedspread, especially for children. Kantha is very popular with tourists visiting Bengal, and personally I adore the combination of quilting and embroidery! Delicious!

I’m not sure it’s what I have done, but I call my regular rows of running stitch Kantha, and I simply love doing them! You’ve got to find the right combination of fabrics (I sew in two layers), but when the weave is loose enough to do a smooth stitching you can’t help falling in love. Falling into a meditative state of stitching, wanting to add “just one more row”… But because it is time consuming I didn’t set out to make a quilt. Instead I finished my piece and made this:

Kantha Embroidered Pillow I made
A Kantha Embroidered Pillow!

Loved making it but love even more looking at it and feeling the structure these stitches create on the surface. Yum!

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13 Responses to Pillow with Kantha Embroidery

  1. Pingback: Kanthabroderi | text i Hanna

  2. Christie says:

    Just beautiful! I agree about stitching being meditative and when I see something like your pillow I wish I did more of it.

  3. Marci Glenn says:

    I love this Hanna! I agree with Christie that stitching is very meditative – I love to sit and stitch all my cares away. Thank you for posting this beautiful piece.

  4. Anna says:

    Love your cushion Hanna! The fabric combination is wonderful and the simple stitching just fabulous. Thanks for a lovely post.

  5. Zoe says:

    I had never heard of Kantha! How delightful, might even be suitable for me :)

  6. Arielle says:

    Your pillow turned out absolutely gorgeous! Love the fabrics you chose and the stitching is so pretty! Your photos are so happy and make me smile every time I look at them! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Patricia says:

    Your pillow is beautiful! I adore the fabric & colors!! Beautifully done!

  8. fmm says:

    What kind of thread do you use? It looks thicker than sewing thread…love the pillow!

  9. Mary says:

    Hanna…this is very pretty! And it’s pink :D

  10. Chris says:

    Hanna, this is a beautiful pillow. You know I really love the colors, but it also has soft textures to it, and I like that. Many of my textures are rough, and this gives me an idea to change that up. I love geometrics, too, which makes this appealing. I had no idea about this stitch being Kantha.

  11. Gwyn Monroe says:

    LOVE those rich, jewel tone colors, Hanna. Just GORGEOUS! :) Gwyn

  12. That stitching is absolutely beautiful! Love it. I can imagine some mail art uses for that too…

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