A Small Hand Embroidered Kantha Pouch: Indian Folk Craft

$125.00 USD

ca. mid twentieth century
14 1/2" x 8 1/2", 37 cm x 21.5 cm

This is an amazingly beautiful,small cotton bag hand stitched in West Bengal, India, using a stitching method called kantha.

Kantha stitching has its roots in ingenuity and the culture of women: used white dhotis (men's sarongs) and women's sarees were salvaged, cut and layered: thread from the colored, embroidered borders of the used garments were pulled free from the rags and used as embroidery threads for quilted work, the border threads usually being black and red, blue and red, and sometimes yellow, orange and green.

Quilts, bags and clothing were embroidered using a running, stem and satin stitch, the quilts and coverlets were constructed of many layers, the number of layers dependent of the weather of the region where a particular kantha was stitched.   
This small bag or pouch is said to be a coin bag that is fashioned from a square-shaped embroidered cotton cloth.  The all over, hand stitching in red, and blue cotton thread is fantastic, as is the wonderful design.

The stitching on the bag is based on a grid; each corner of each grid shows a flower petal and the effect is a field of four-petaled flowers within a set of squares.  The center of each square shows a small, pinwheel like shape: this is the shostir chino, a whirling form that suggests the churning motion of the universe.
This is a wonderful, small, hand stitched kantha bag: just beautiful. 

A small bit of wear and fraying, as is to be expected.