Image: Details of a Kantha, 1900's, cotton plain weave; hand-sewn, quilted, and embroidered with cotton thread. Mingei International Museum, Gift of Courtenay McGowen, 2013-33-008

On View

Oct 28, 2017 - Mar 25, 2018

Curated By

Christine Knoke Hietbrink

An exhibition of fourty kantha, from the Museum's permanent collection.

Kantha is a term used across the Indian sub-continent to denote decorative stitched quilting. In Gujarat, hangings patterned with concentric circles or squares in running stitch are known as kanthas, while in Bengal, kanthas are stitched for a variety of purposes, such as winter quilts, covers and wraps for books and valuables or as mats for ceremonial purposes. They are most often given to daughters on the occasion of their marriage, as a token of love, or as a gift for a new-born child or grown son. They are often, as tradition has it, made up of old cast off _saris_ or _dhotis_. They can be the work of two or more generations of women and are treasured as family heirlooms.