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dignify

All About Our Blankets

dignify kantha blankets are layers of repurposed sari cloth, stitched together by hand by women in Bangladesh.

Kantha (meaning: “patched cloth”) refers to both the tradition of producing these quilted blankets, as well as the stitch itself (a small, straight running stitch in Bengali embroidery.) You can deep-dive everything kantha here >.

What dignify blankets are made of:


Our hand-stitched blankets are made from six layers of sari cloth & nothing else. (A sari is a long piece of fabric, wrapped artfully, for everyday wear in South Asia.)

Cotton kantha quiltsclassic kantha throws, large kantha throws, and kantha minis — use a soft, cotton muslin cloth from repurposed, everyday saris. These colorful textiles are collected from individuals & homes throughout Bangladesh (saving them from the landfill), then sold in bulk at market stalls in Dhaka. 

The cloth is washed, then outer layers are matched for style & color. Skilled artisans quilt the blanket over many hours — 1.5 days for a mini, up to a full week for a large kantha throw — before it’s washed again, packed up, and sent to dignify HQ!


Silk blend kantha quilts
make use of new sari cloth which was unsold by the producer, due to slight flaws, color variations, passed trends, etc. These blankets, after they are crafted, are drycleaned, rather than laundered. 

The exceptions are our baby swaddle blankets and table runners, which are each made with only 2 layers of cloth. These smaller, thinner pieces are good introductory pieces for new artisans (whereas the largest, bedding blankets are made by the most experienced artisans).

Who makes dignify's kantha blankets?

All of our kantha products are made by artisans at Basha Boutique in Bangladesh. 

Basha means “house” in Bangla. Asha means “hope”. Through dignified work, Basha is building a house of hope for women in Bangladesh. dignify has found Basha to be an extraordinary operation, full of integrity, generosity, and love, in addition to excellence.

What are the sizes of dignify blankets?


The sizing of our blankets has been determined by standard sizes of sari cloth — another way that we limit waste in production.

Feet Inches Metric Shape
Mini Kantha 3'4" x 3'4" 40" x 40" 100cm x 100cm Square
Classic Throw 3'4" x 6'8" 40" x 80"
100cm x 200cm
Long rectangle
Large Throw 6'8" x 6'8" 80" x 80"
200cm x 200cm
Square
Silk Blend Throw 3'4" x 6'8" 40" x 80"
100cm x 200cm
Long rectangle
Simplicity (White) Throw 3'4" x 6'8" 40" x 80"
100cm x 200cm
Long rectangle
Queen Bedding 8' x 8' 95" x 95"
240cm x 240cm
Square
King Bedding 8'2" x 9' 98" x 108"
250cm x 275cm
Subtle rectangle
Indigo Kantha Mini, Classic, Large sizes
Special Kantha Various sizes

Caring for dignify blankets:


One of the frequent questions we receive is: can I wash a kantha?

The best way to care for your blanket in the long run is to spot clean, as you can, and limit full washing. This will help with wear & tear. Need a full clean? No problem! Here are the full washing instructions for our blankets:

Cotton Kantha:

Cotton kantha quilts are 100% machine washable. You will not warp or damage one of our blankets by washing or drying it in a machine.

However, because the blankets are made of layers of thin cotton, they will wear down over time. (The traditional solution to this is to patch over a worn spot with another layer, with more kantha stitching!) Because of this, we recommend gentle and limited washing to extend the life of the blanket.

True for:

  • Classic Throws
  • Large Throws
  • Mini Kantha
  • Indigo Kantha (colorfast — the dye will not bleed)
  • Simplicity Throws
  • Cotton Table Runners & Pillows
  • Christmas Stockings & Tree Skirts

Silk Blend Kantha:

Our "blanket" statement (har har) is that we recommend drycleaning the silk blend throws.

When these raw fabrics are sold to our production partner, Basha, the cloth sellers say, "It's all silk!" But, we know that in most cases, it is actually a blend of silk and other fibres, as well. Each blanket will respond differently to various washing techniques, so drycleaning is the safest bet.

Another option is to hand wash your silk blend kantha.

True for:

  • Silk Blend Throws Throws
  • Silk Blend Table Runners

Are dignify blankets Fair Trade?


Our production partner, Basha, is committed to fair trade principles — for Basha’s own excellence in business practices, but also to support the movement towards better global commerce.
100% of dignify’s kantha blankets are made by Basha artisans.

Basha belongs to ECOTA Fair Trade forum — a networking and coordinating body of Small & Medium Fair Trade Enterprises in Bangladesh. Basha promotes ethical trade and exceeds World Fair Trade Organization’s Fair Trade Principles:

  1. Creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers:
  2. Transparency and accountability: Basha is transparent in business dealings with all members of the supply chain.
  3. Fair Trade practices: Basha operates with concern for employees’ social, environmental and economic wellbeing. We pay above the local standard for similar work, and employees also receive a share in any profits. Other employee benefits include: part-payment of medical costs, gratuity and severance pay, festival bonuses and a subsidized daycare facility.
  4. Payment of a fair price: We operate fairly in our local context by offering at or above market prices for materials and services whenever possible.
  5. No child labour: Basha generally does not employ anyone under the age of eighteen. Girls between 16-18 who meet Basha’s criteria are provided employment in compliance with local labour laws, which include: safe working conditions, restricted hours, and ongoing education.
  6. Non-discrimination, gender equity and freedom of association: Central to Basha’s work is the righting of gender and cultural inequality. Basha does not discriminate when hiring on the basis of race, religion, age or background.
  7. Working conditions: Basha seeks to maintain excellent health and safety standards and practices, and to foster a positive and enjoyable working environment.
  8. Capacity building: We seek continued development of all our employees, offering ongoing professional and personal training. We currently offer training in: life-skills, business, Bangla literacy, and English.
  9. Promotion of Fair Trade: We are an active advocate for Fair Trade through web and printed promotional material and at events. We also seek to lead by example among our competitors.
  10. Respect for the environment: A high proportion of our materials are re-purposed or recycled. We source materials locally and choose carbon-light transportation of goods where possible.

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