Kantha is a Bangladeshi word for cloth, and a particular way of stitching embroidered quilts made from the good parts of old worn-out saris. A wealth of decorative circular designs created with variations of running stitch feature on these quilts. Traditionally the threads used were withdrawn from coloured saris borders. Sometimes coloured stripes woven into a sari were sandwiched between the layers of cloth.
With traditional and contemporary examples as our source of inspiration we will begin by layering together cotton fabrics to create a cloth which is soft and lovely to handle (approximately A4 in size) Then using three basic ways of building patterns with running stitch, in a voyage of discovery and invention we will begin stitching around and around in circles! Finally, to hold everything together we will surround these circles with the rippling textures unique to kantha.
The workshop is open to everyone who enjoys hand stitching. It could offer you an introduction to kantha making or another chance to extend your kantha making skills.
Dorothy Tucker works from her home in North Norfolk. She is a member of the Textile Study Group, exhibits her own work, and tutors textile workshops in the UK and abroad.
Born in India, Dorothy’s choice to stitch by hand is informed by her research into Kantha, a form of embroidered Quilt traditionally made in what used to be Bengal. In January /February 2020 she travelled in search of kantha to West Bengal and Odisha on a group trip arranged by Discover India through Textiles.