The Traditional and cultural Kantha embroidery: Upcycling rags into incredible pieces of clothing

Kantha is a typical technique of needle embroidery practiced by rural women in West Bengal.

Traditionally the Lep kantha was done sewing together layers of old cloth, mostly saris, with intricate stitches. The thread used for the purpose was pulled out of the sari itself. Their meticulous artistry transformed worn out rags into extraordinarily beautiful creations that could withstand further usage.

Until today, this combination of thrift and aesthetics is not mass produced as it is very time consuming. A cultural tradition, deeply anchored in the Bengal way of life: Making kanthas is also a ritual activity as they are used to wrap and protect precious objects, newborn babies. At her marriage every girl receives an intricate kantha that her mother would have worked on for years. A kantha is also used during cremation ceremony to cover the dead.

Designs range from elaborate folk motifs that tell a story of the artisan’s village life depicting hunting, farming and dancing, to elaborate florals, animal and bird scenes, and complex geometrics.

Precise work of Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (18)
Zig Zag Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (8)
Geometric Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (17)
Mosaic Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (13)
Flower Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (12)
Stripes Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (19)
Geometric Kantha
Katna khanta patterns catalogue (10)
Geometric Kantha

Preparation of the home collection – the first samples!

Takla Makan is launching a new line of home textiles! Discover our complete set of cotton bed sheets (sheets and pillow covers) and cotton blankets.

This home collection is produced in partnership with the Aurovillian unit “The Colours of Nature” specialized in natural indigo dyeing. Melissa and Mathilde had a lot of fun creating the samples: sewing shiboris and dying fabrics in the indigo vats!

Here some snapshots of the first samples:

Our logo printed on an indigo bed sheets
Indigo 22

Pillow cases in shiboris
Indigo 9Indigo 8

First tests for graduate dyes!
Indigo 2

We hope to introduce the final collection pretty soon!