An Intensely Stitched Kantha Coin Pouch: Recycled Cottons

$90.00 USD

ca. mid twentieth century
as shown: 9 1/2" x 6 1/4", 24 cm x 16 cm

This is an amazingly beautiful--almost mesmerizing--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, yellow. blue and green is just lovely. 

Note that the stitching inside each of the triangular shaped areas is a kind of pinwheel effect: the triangle shapes are quite often seen on kanthas and in this case it could be a variant of the kautar khupi or pigeon coop motif.  The pinwheel effect is shorthand for the turning of the universe.

A really lovely thing--and recommended.
An Intensely Stitched Kantha Coin Pouch: Recycled Cottons