The Kantha Quilt

After picking up the latest issue of Canada's House & Home, I became inspired by this photograph that featured a variety of kantha quilts atop a bed. You've seen these quilts for sale at Anthropologie, West Elm and Urban Outfitters to name a few. The best part about them, besides their colorful nature, is how you can mix and match patterns for a layered look that's really quite beautiful. 

Kantha is defined as "a type of embroidery popular in Bangladesh and in West Bengal, India." Old, discarded saris and cloth are layered, then joined with a simple running stitch to make a light blanket, bedspread or throw. Kantha originated from the women of Bengal who mended old clothes. They would take out a strand of thread from the colorful border of their saris and make simple, pretty designs with them. 

I'm in awe of the variety of colors and beautiful designs you can layer and play with. Perhaps the idea is to buy one every six months and just keep accumulating...

Today, the Bengalese craft has grown quite a bit of momentum as more U.S stores want to purchase and sell the quilts. Millions of women continue this practice, often at home in the districts of Birbhum Burdway, Hooghly and Murshidabad and have benefited economically from its renewed popularity.  

The wonderful aspect to kanthas is not just their unique designs but how they're reversible. Just flip them over to find a complementary color and pattern on the underside.

Versatile and visual, these quilts look just as good layered on a bed or sofa as they do stacked atop each other on a stool or shelf. I'm sold. May my quest for multiple kanthas begin...


Photos: House & Home; Design Sponge;,; Joss and Main;; Raja and Rani;; Jesse Campbell; Elle Decor; Raja and Rani, Urban Outfitters    Content: Sweet Peach


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Reader Comments (4)

Love these quilts!! I am saving up for one as we speak, perfect for Fall weather in New England :)

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

LOVE all of these kantha quilts, so beautifully produced and perfect for cold weather. Such a beautiful blog you wrote.

You can find some more on my etsy shop as well

July 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterManju G

Use small stitches and the correct thread tension when appliquéing, so as to not distort the shapes of smaller pieces.

September 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKantha Quilts
What kind of material is used to make the Kantha quilt and what is used for batting? I really what to make one.
April 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCecilia

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