Gharey Bairey - Stitches of Kantha

Crafts Museum

Showcasing various stitches from Kantha-Sozni embroidery of the Women of Murshidabad, West Bengal


In Bengal, Kantha was a typical spare time activity of rural women. Layers of old cloth  - usually saris - were stitched together for reuse.

The word Kantha signifies both the object as well as the style of embroidery. Women spend months, sometimes even years, working on a single piece. 

Traditionally, several layers of old fabric - usually saris - were stitched together, with intricate and elaborate stitches. The technique of layering and stitching together cloth significantly extended its life and made a durable and warm textile, appropriate for bedding or cover.

The thread used for the stitches was usually pulled out of the sari itself. The meticulous artistry that was then applied transformed worn-out rags into extraordinarily beautiful creations.

Stitches from traditional Kantha Embroidery of Murshidabad, West Bengal

Rosogolla Stitch
Clip Stitch
Chichinga Phool stitch
Tara Stitch
Baansh Patta Stitch
Laathi Stitch
Tara Chutki Stitch
Chokh Stitch
Laga Pan Stitch
Aaina Khopa stitch
Fan Stitch
Choto Dhew Stitch
Rosogolla Stitch
Kata Dhew Stitch
Prodip Stitch
Laga Muda Stitch
Thopa Biral Paothi Stitch
Haath Dhora Dhori Muda with Machi stitch
'S' Stitch
Haath Dhora Dhori Muda with Machi stitch
Maachi Stitch
Golak Dhandi stitch
Angthi Stitch
Angthi stitch
Laga Baansh Patta Stitch
Lyolukhi Stitch
Jhau stitch
Thopa Biral Paothi stitch
Dool stitch
Rajbairi gate stitch
Rajbari Gate -2 Stitch
Choclate Stitch
Thopa Biral Paothi stitch
S Stitch
Dhew Stitch
Kata dhew Stitch
Jhau Stitch
Mura Stitch
Mou Maachi Stitch
Aaina Khopa Stitch
Tara Stitch
Chashma stitch
Jaal Phaas Stitch
Kachchim Stitch
Clip Stitch
Compass stitch
Rocket stitch
Pankhili Stitch
Poddo Stitch
S Stitch
Fan Stitc
V Stitch
Biral Paothi Stitch
Chokh Stitch
Haath dhora Dhori Muda stitch
Aaina Khopa Stitch
Biral Paothi Stitch
Credits: Story

Exhibition at Crafts Museum: 2013 — Dr Ruchira Ghose, Mushtak Khan
In collaboration with — Shabnam Ramaswamy, Street Survivors India, Murshidabad, West Bengal
Online exhibit credits — Consultants - Digitization, Crafts Museum - Gunjan Tripathi, Visetuonuo Kiso and Habib Ahamad

Credits: All media
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