Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.
I wanted to help and support rural women in India to gain financial independence.
So I started Kantha, an online store, in 2013 with two goals :
- To bring the finest Indian quilt making to a wider audience and
- To insure a reliable livelihood for traditional artisans in the villages.
From it’s inception, Kantha has been guided by principles of sustainability, fair trade, and respect for traditional cultures. When you buy a Kantha product, you bring a piece of a living art into your home.
The Kantha Story
Other companies use machines to make quilts, resulting in uniform, sterile blankets that have no personality or uniqueness. In contrast:
- Every Kantha product is entirely handmade with thousands of stitches by artists living and working in Rajasthan, West Bengal and Calcutta, India.
- They use the same ancient techniques handed down across centuries, creating blankets that incorporate a running stitch called the Kantha stitch.
- Each quilt is different – bearing the visible imprint of a human hand and heart.
The Kantha holds a very special place within village life . Making Kanthas is a ritual activity as they are used to protect precious objects. The newborn are greeted with baby Kanthas. At her marriage every girl receives an elaborate Kantha which her mother has worked on for years. These quilts are usually not for sale.
Traditionally, artists recycled pieces of good material from discarded garments, just as traditional quilters do worldwide. Village women would gather together to sew layers of old saris, with intricate stitches, using thread pulled out of the sari itself. Their meticulous artistry transformed old garments into extraordinarily beautiful creations.
This combination of thrift and aesthetics persists in the making of a traditional Kantha quilt. Today we call it up-cycle. Our Indian Sari Silk Comforters still utilize this custom, while some of our other products are made from new fabrics. In either case, you are insured of a unique and durable quilt that will last for a lifetime.
Today, Kantha is proud to support the work of many artisans, spread across India. We continually expand our product line, most recently to include patchwork handbags.
Blending traditional artistry with the ever changing tastes and needs of 21st Century society.
- To strive to mix the best of the past with the present day,
- To link cultures
- Preserve traditions and
- Insure fair business practice internationally.
- Artisans gain financial independence
Thank you for visiting us.
Name Pronunciation: AH-ruun-dha-tee MAN-dah-vuh