Artisan Spotlight: Handmade Kantha Quilts

by - Thursday, June 25, 2015

Handmade Constellations Quilt by Indian Artisan Women

It takes incredible ability, care, and attention to detail to craft goods by hand. The women who construct the Constellation Quilts and Shams use their skills in the traditional Kantha embroidery and applique work to create this bright, beautiful bedding.

The artisan women crafting the quilts

The Kantha stitch is a type of embroidery, and mastering this skill is a tradition of the women in small localities in India. These quilts and shams are made by women artisans who have come to Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India, after the war between India and Pakistan in 1971. Kantha is important to their lives, as it offers employment and income independent of the husband which is critical in these drought-affected areas.

The art and tradition of Kantha embroidery is clearly evident in their culture, as they make this type of throw for their homes or for gifts. The Kantha embroidered throw is also prepared as a present crafted by mothers to give to their daughters at the time of their marriage. The women labor over the fabric for a number or years, sometimes even starting from birth, and the giving of the throw is treated as a symbolic gesture with great meaning and sentiment.

An artisan in India applying cutwork by hand

The Constellation Quilt and Sham were purposefully designed to highlight the skills and techniques of the artisans and showcase the Kantha and hand-cut applique work. The bright colors and flower-like shapes display the expert stitch-work and bordering.

We are moved by these strong, empowered women working to provide for their families and carry on the craft of their culture. And, this type of work now provides employment to nearly 1,200 Indian women. These artisans continue inspire us, as their heart and pride of work help this bedding (and everything they craft) carry the spirit of their heritage.

Shop the Constellations Lightweight Cutwork Quilt and Sham.

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