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  • Tales of grandma sarees- Kantha Handicrafts

    The beautiful tradition of draping the nine yard long sari can best be seen in Indian states of Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Kantha is an old Indian embroidery style practiced mostly by rural women of West Bengal and Orissa.  In Sanskrit ‘Kantha’ means ‘rag’ as the embroidery is made up of discarded garments or cloths. The word Kantha also means throat due its association with Lord Shiva.

    Kantha is a 500 hundred year old traditional work where women and grandmas of the house, use old and discarded pieces of clothes or layer 4 or 5 saris together. Then a running stitch is made on it with different motifs to give it a slight wrinkled and wavy effect. The various motifs are folk motifs, floral motifs, animal and birds figures and geometrical patterns and designs. Themes are generally taken from daily life activities.

    Image Credit - wikipedia.org Image Credit - wikipedia.org

    There are 7 types of different Kantha stitches. The first kind is known as Lep Kantha and is used to make warm padded quilts. Second one is Sujani Kantha and is used to make bed covers for weddings and ceremonies. Baiton Kantha is used on covers for wrapping books and objects. Oaar Kantha is used on pillow and cushion covers, while Archilata Kantha has beautiful motifs and colorful borders and is used for covering mirrors. Durjani Kantha is generally a small piece used to make the inside of a purse, hand bags and wallet, and the last stitch is the Rumal Kantha which has a distinct lotus at the centre and is used to cover crockery and household items plate.

    The thought behind the fine needlework used in Kantha embroidery is to employ old clothes and materials and convert them into something new, attractive and useful. The entire Kantha work depicts a tale or is like an inspirational story representing the hard work and dedication of women and folks.

    The traditional form of Kantha embroidery was done on soft dhotis and saris where the outer layers of the cloth is kept light colored or white. This makes the cloth more attractive and perceptible. The contemporary Kantha is done on the present day garments like stoles, shawls, saris, dupatta, shirts, bedding and other household furnishing fabrics. Nowadays Kantha handicrafts are very much in demand in foreign nations. Many tourists visiting West Bengal take back lovely Kantha handicrafts to gift their loved ones and family members.

  • Celebrating India’s Amazing Handicraft

    India and its citizens have since the beginning of time been creators of several art forms, reflecting their culture, heritage and fulfilling several necessities of the rich and the poor. India’s handicraft ,too, is second to none, with variety of  cultures and sub-cultures existing and varying from each other, it is no wonder that its handicraft sector has given birth to globally famous genres of handicraft. We would like to give a brief introduction to some famous and amazing forms of handicraft which not only adds to the richness of this country’s culture but also is a celebration in itself!

    Madhubani: Madhubani painting is also known as Mithila painting. Natural dyes and pigments are used to create it. With five distinctive and equally impressive styles, namely - Bharni, Tantrik, Nepali, Katchni and Gobar, this art form uses natural dyes and pigments. With time, the Madhubani art form has increased in popularity and is even replicated in various other decorative forms.

    Madhubani paintings in india Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Phulkari: Tracing its root to the women-folk of Punjab, Phulkari, was started in the 19th century. The name “phulkari” translates to flower work in Punjabi, and as the name suggests the art form resembles, the bright colors of flowers and reflects the fertile colors of the fields of Punjab. The appeal of the phulkari is such that it is now a must-have in Punjabi households.

    Phulkari handicrafts from India Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Channapatna Toys: Situated 60kms from the hustle-bustle of Bengaluru, is situated a small town called Channapatna. In the local Kannada language, this town is called Gombegala Ooru, which translates to ‘toy town.’ The artists residing in this ‘tow-town’ make wooden toys, colored in organic colors, in front of the customers. Now, a major tourist destination, 80 % of the population of the town rely on this business for their livelihood

    Channapatna Toys handicrafts from India Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Brass Utensils: A symbol of prosperity, wealth and honor since humans started settling. The Lohars or the early blacksmiths from Rajasthan bought brass sheets from Ahmedabad and created the first brass utensils. Once, a dazzling element in the royal kitchens, they are now found in museums or handed down through generations as family heirlooms.

    Brass Utensils From India Handicrafts

    Kantha : The soft and comfortable material used, makes this a favorite among many.It all began decades ago when grandmothers would sew their old sarees as patchworks and make kanthas. Today, it is done on a larger commercial platform, and with much brighter colors.

    Kantha Handicrafts from India Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Dhana Murti: Mundas - This ethnic tribal group in the Chota Nagpur plateau region use unhusked rice grains to make idols. Rice grains, bamboo slivers, and colored threads are used to make beautiful idols of Indian gods and goddesses like Ganesha or Lakshmi.

    Image Credit - Gaatha.com Image Credit - Gaatha.com

    Ranidongri Baskets :  These popular products trace their origin to Ranidongri, a small town in Madhya Pradesh where local men and women weave baskets as a means of livelihood. Woven in almost every household in Ranidongri, these tokris or baskets are found in different shapes and sizes.

    Ranidogri-basket-handicrafts-india Image Credit - Gaatha.com

    Lappe Ka Kaam: Also popularly known as gota patti or zardousi, is a fine example of Rajasthan’s rich and centuries old royalty. It is a type of applique embroidery - a needlework technique in which patterns or representational scenes are created by the attachment of smaller pieces of fabric. Lappe ka kaam is seen a lot in bridal clothing these days.

    Lappe Ka Kaam handicrafts india

    Blue Pottery: This extremely time-consuming and tedious form of handicraft is worth every second and time. Blue pottery, as the name suggests is due to blue dye that is used. It is the only kind of pottery which does not use clay. A mixture of quartz stone powder, powdered glass, multani mitti, borax, gum and waterform its main composition. The Pink City – Jaipur is known and celebrated for its blue pottery .

    Blue Pottery handicrafts from India Image Credit - handicrafts India

    Kathputli: The famous mascot of Rajasthan, standing one-and-a-half feet tall, are manufactured in Sawai – Madhopur, Bari and Udaipur. They are commonly seen in puppets shows across the country.

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