There is a rich tradition of handmade baby bedspreads all over India. They are commonly made by joining small old cotton fabric pieces as they are soft and comfortable. Bedspread made from pieces of an old patola sari is considered auspicious and healthy in Gujarat. In Bengal old muslin and cotton saris are laid and stitched together and embroidered with pretty patterns with kantha embroidery to make baby blankets and bedspreads.


  • Title: Infant’s bedspread
  • Date Created: 20th century CE
  • Location: India
  • Provenance: Gift of Kalpana Desai
  • Type: Bedspread
  • Medium: Silk
  • Region: West Bengal
  • History of Style of Technique: The birth of a child brings great joy as it ensures the growth of the family tree. His arrival in civilised society is marked with a gift of a soft mulmul zabla. According to Indian tradition, it is considered inauspicious to buy any new clothes for the new born. In fact at first the baby is made to wear old clothes of a child from the family. The used clothing is soft for the tender baby skin and it is believed that through these clothes the positive family vibes and values would pass onto the baby. The arrival of a baby is remembered by its tiny clothes; a marriage ceremony by the carefully wrapped up wedding attire; parents are remembered through the garments they pass on to their children. This is perhaps one of the reasons why we treasure heirlooms. The tiny dresses worn by our children hold sweet memories. Treasured more than any expensive garment, they are a strong symbol of love. Earlier, they were stitched and embellished by mothers, aunts, and grandmothers for the child but today the trend of such home-stitched garments is on the decline, being replaced by the variety of readymade clothing available in the market.
  • Accession Number: 2005.1/11, 1/13

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