Kantha is one of the oldest embroidery forms originated from Bengal, a region comprising today's Indian state of West Bengal and the nation of Bangladesh. Skillful women artisans use running stitches to create motifs of flowers, animals, and shapes, which often tell stories of their everyday life or folktales from a rich local repertoire.
In Sanskrit, the word kantha means rags. The history of Kantha goes back to the first woman sewing remnant pieces of her old saris together to make something new and keep her family warm. As it is believed that old cloth can protect the user, each Kantha quilt is a creature of love.
The best Kantha has the entire cloth covered with running stitches. These stitches create small wrinkles and ruffles with air pockets inside, which make the quilt a better insulator to fight the cold.
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