WHAT IS KANTHA?



KANTHA TODAY

  • Today, the rich tradition of kantha has gained popularity in the West; no surprise, given the beauty, intricacy, and "wow" factor of each piece.

  • As we culturally trend away from disposable consumer goods, and towards meaningful, well crafted goods with a low environmental impact, kantha blankets happily fit the bill. 
  • The cloth is repurposed, which means no new dyes or inks (except for the environmentally happy natural indigo blankets). The only factory-produced supplies we use are: thread (for all of our kantha blankets); and: new, unbleached, natural cotton (for our simplicity throws, bedding, & swaddles). There are few by-products of our blanket production; edge scraps of saris are removed, but then used to make our kilim rugs.
  • Our kantha blankets — sometimes called sari quilts — are not made of rags, nor do they feature elaborately designed stitch patterns. But, they are indeed fashioned from cloth that has been discarded and is ready for new life.
  • Cotton saris have been traded on doorsteps for cooking pots & spoons, then sold at large sari markets; our team sorts through piles of cloth to find the best styles. Silk-blend blankets are made from cloth that has been discarded by the producers for flaws, colour variation, out-dated patterns, or as remnants. All the cloth that makes dignify kantha blankets is sourced in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
  • All of dignify's kantha quilts & other goods are made by Basha Boutique; watch the video below to see the process that brings your blanket to life!


HOW TO CHOOSE GOOD QUALITY KANTHA

  • Thickness : Each layer of sari cloth is very thin (imagine a soft muslin for a baby swaddle), so if there are only 2 or 3 layers, the blanket will be very light. This is the most common thickness in the native regions, but is thinner than most Westerners would expect from a blanket.
    • dignify kantha quilts are made with 6 layers of sari cloth. The final product is still thin, not bulky, but definitely as "hefty" as kantha come. They are light, but provide a good warmth, as well. (Any kantha made with new cloth, like our simplicity blankets, have additional thickness & weight).

  • Stitching : How dense do you expect the running stitches to be? A blanket with very tight, close stitching will have a more stiff, substantial feel than stitching that is farther apart. It is a different look and style, depending on the region of origin (very dense stitching is more typical of the "Northern" style of kantha.
    • The standard stitches on dignify's kantha run approximately 1cm (3/8 inch) apart

  • Edge Stitching : This is where a more inexpensively produced, lower quality kantha will reveal itself. A well-made kantha should have a straight, hand-sewn edge (not raw), closing up the ends to prevent any fraying or interior cloth coming out.
    • No sloppy stitching here — Our kantha are stitched with precision all around!