Kantha is a humble art form, created today as it has been for centuries in small, simple village homes. Each scarf is the result of many months' work by women's cooperatives in rural West Bengal.
It’s challenging for women to work outside the home here; communities are deeply conservative; they have children, animals, and homes to take care of, and employment opportunities are few. Taking fabric home to do the kantha embroidery allows them to work in their free time, and earn their own income. They re-invest this money in their families, which gives them a powerful influence on improving their standing in the home and community. It also greatly improves opportunities for their children. An added bonus is social connection: women usually sit together while stitching, sharing the latest news and gossip.
Each scarf is made of two layers of recycled silk sari fabric carefully matched together, and then covered in a fine, hand-embroidered kantha stitch. The name of the artisan can usually be found embroidered into a corner of the scarf. Every piece is one of a kind, as well as zero-waste. As an extra-special gesture, we’re packing each scarf in a beautiful tote made from silk or cotton that’s perfect for daily errands.
Indian Goods Co. images courtesy Anna-Lena Günther