All Sari Bari products are sewn using an ancient Bengali technique called kantha, a form of embroidery, (pronounced “kahn-thah”) and signed by the artisan according to tradition.
An Ancient Bengali Tradition
Kantha is a Bengali word that means “old cloth.” Women in West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh have made Kantha quilts out of their worn sari’s (the traditional dress of Indian women) for hundreds of years. Much like the quilts that your own grandmother may have made, these blankets are pieces of art that are cherished for generations.
In the traditional kantha style, five layers of used saris are sewn together with a repeated running stitch to make a quilted blanket that is both functional and beautiful. Complimentary patches are applied where the fabric has torn or worn thin, adding unique beauty.
Signed by the Maker
Bengali women typically sign their finished quilt as a mark of pride and identity. Likewise, the Sari Bari artisan signs each of her products with a personalized name tag, creating a “new” heirloom for you.
“Kantha has traditionally provided women with space and time of their own with which they created this extraordinary art-form. It is an exclusively woman’s activity where they can interact with other women and gain a sense of self.”—Jasleen Dhamija, from the Craft Council of India