Nakshi Kantha Embroidery

Nakshi Kantha Embroidery


The legendary nakshi kanthas are the best examples of the embroideries of Bangladesh. Although embroidered kanthas are very decorative their chief motive traditionally was thrift and economy combined with aesthetics, the idea being to utilise old and worn out cloth by sewing them together meticulously with close stitches and embroidering them so that not a single piece of fabric was wasted. The idea was to strengthen old and worn out cloth so that it could endure further usage. The care and artistry with which the embroideries are made transformed the kanthas from their original state of patched up rags into wonderfully beautiful creations of design. Nothing embodies the tradition of women’s creativity more than the nakshi kanthas. It also symbolizes how women preserve, recreate and renew life forms. Stories are told of how women met together in their courtyards, to stitch the kanthas for family members. They stitched the layers together with borders in coloured yarn taken from the sari borders; this was followed by stitching the motifs which represented familiar items, ritualistic symbols or imaginative scenes. It is said that almost fifty different stitches have been used in kanthas.

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