Our napkins and table runners products are sewn from vintage saris, which are freshly laundered, sorted into product types and grouped by color and design. Pattern pieces are hand sewn using the traditional Kantha stitch. Kantha is an ancient Bengali embroidery technique. Each piece is signed by the artisan according to 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.
Your purchase also helps support Ocean Conservancy: working to bring people, science and policy together with a mission to counter the many threats to ocean health and sustainability. From protecting vital, vulnerable ecosystems through legislation, to enforcing accountability among leaders, Ocean Conservancy seeks solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.
“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