Kantha originated generations ago as a way in which Bengali housewives mended old clothes. Never throw away any useable fabric for it is too precious.
Thus came the designs from Bolpur in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. They would take a strand of thread from colorful border of their saris and make simple designs with them.
The well-known Kantha stich is a simple running embroidery stitch. Women for centuries have used layering old and used saris ( ladies attire) and dhoti (men's informal wear) for other uses, especially making them into quilts and blankets.