Kantha With Lotus Pattern and Auspicious Motifs

Dr. Ritu Sethi

Dr. Ritu Sethi
New Delhi, India

Here, the lotus and other auspicious motifs are symbolized, without the use of words, the feelings, blessings and wishes of the embroiderer.

The foundational allover embroidery is executed in the Kantha phor stitch that employs a single-ply thread in a colour that is similar to the base fabric - usually cream or white. This stitch creates a texture that though it appears indistinguishable from the base material it adds the Kantha's unmistakable rippled, three-dimensional look and feel. Two-ply threads are used for the embroidered patterns with variations in stitches and their deployment to create forms and motifs. The threads were traditionally pulled out of the borders of saris and dhotis and thus availability, rather than a predefined color palette, appeared to have determined the colours with red, black, blue and white palette being most common. However many of the kanthas use a variety of colors leading to the possibility that new yarn must have been used to either supplement or substitute the old.


  • Title: Kantha With Lotus Pattern and Auspicious Motifs
  • Rights: Text and Photo from: 'Embroidering Futures - Repurposing the Kantha', edited by Ritu Sethi, published by India Foundation for the Arts, Bengaluru, India
  • Medium: Cotton

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