Patches & Patchwork

Kantha quilts (a type of traditional embroidered patchwork quilt from India) have become popular within interior design communities, home decor retail & home decorators for their effortless ‘bohemian’ look. They are excellent for rustic queen bedding, floral quilt cover, hippie Indian tapestry, beach throw blanket, cotton sofa throw and even kantha cushion covers.

Originating from India and naturally made from upcycled saree cloth, hand-stitched together in sections and mended with patches over time, they are also considered one of the most sustainable quilts.

Kanthas don’t have any wadding, they are made from layers of sarees to create the thickness and texture. They can be quite insulative because of this construction.

These brightly coloured, incredibly versatile cotton quilted throws originate from generations of Indian mothers and daughters passing them down within the family. These true bohemians, are the originators of this method of re-use and repurposing.

PATCHWORK

The dreamy patchwork of kantha quilts may seem like a bohemian aesthetic, but actually the kantha technique has been used in India as a method for re-use and recycling old fabrics and clothes. Indians never waste anything – everything can be re-made into another item by repurposing and reviving materials. In the case of the kantha, layers upon layers of cotton are stitched together, creating a wonderful array of colour and texture. The patchwork of these fabrics make unique quilts – no two are ever the same. With a simple running stitch over the entire surface of the quilt or throw, the fabrics are quilted together in a simple but ingenious method, requiring only hand-work. The patchwork usually consists of cotton sarees, sometimes silk sarees, or a combination of both, as well as other fabric scraps. Large or small pieces are stitched together with incredible contrasts of colour and pattern.

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PATCHES

Once the pieces of fabric have been laid down, the next step is to cover up any fabric imperfections – due to their recycled nature, any marks and holes are patched up with small pieces of fabrics mostly to revive, but also add character and charm to the finished quilt. Because of the vast array of textile materials produced in India, including various dye methods, block print fabrics and traditional sarees, there is a great amount of scrap fabrics.

Look out for our exciting new collection of handmade individual patches – that are handmade in Australia, ready for stitching onto jeans, jackets & bags – reviving all your favourite clothes!

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To view our range of beautiful vintage Indian kantha quilts and throws and other kantha items, handmade in India and Australia, visit The Kantha Project shop

GUPTA

Beautiful swirly floral vintage print in olive and peach with blue, red and green vintage saree cotton on the reverse give this kantha throw a lively, fun and happy vibe. A very colourful and vibrant embroidered patchwork quilt that works well as cotton quilt bedding, beach throw blanket, picnic rug or simply a throw for the couch or bed to add some lively pattern and colour!

GUPTA is available now at The Kantha Project shop.

Another 8 awesome uses for your kantha quilt

 

So we’ve covered the most common uses for kantha quilts India – if you haven’t yet read our previous post “Top 5 uses for Kantha quilts” this may be a better introduction.

Thought the wonderful colourful kantha was reserved only for the home? You were oh so wrong! Read below for some awesome uses you probably never thought of – definitely some of our favourites…

1. TABLECLOTH

Bring that perfect vibe to a relaxed balmy-night Summer tea party! Because there is so much detail in the vintage print of a kantha throw, using it as a tablecloth can really bring this detail forward and in the spotlight! Using a light-medium kantha throw will work best for table tops, allowing the corners to flow nicely off the table.
Most are completely machine-washable and they are probably a better choice over a plain tablecloth, as any spills will be barely visible on the vintage ethnic textiles vibrant patterns and patchwork.

 2. CURTAINS OR ROOM DIVIDER

Simply adding curtain clips along any edge of a kantha quilt can instantly turn it into a wonderfully colourful curtain or room divider – with a hippie Indian tapestry vibe. Here at The Kantha Project we like to keep open-minded and let you decide what uses you can get out of our beautiful range of kantha quilts and blankets, leaving them untouched, as-is.

 3. car seat cover / throw

Keep a kantha in your car for extra warmth as a blanket, a picnic rug or even to bring personality and colour into your car. Cover the back seat with a colourful kantha, throw a kantha on the front seat and drive!

 4. cape / wrap

Chilly night? A little too breezy? Swap your jacket for something a little more fun – a kantha around your shoulders will give much warmth due to the insulation created by the various cotton layers – it’s a poncho-like, cape-y, wearable blanket sort of deal. Plus, vintage ethnic textiles are all the rage.

 5. BABY PLAYMAT OR WRAP

Babies love colour! Choose a bright kantha with varied prints and patches and you’ve got yourself a baby-approved playmat that you can lie on your living room floor guaranteed to keep your bubs occupied while you catch up on that midday soapie.

You can also use it as a blanket (folded over twice) or baby wrap!

 6. BEACH THROW / COVER-UP

Whether used as a beach throw blanket to sit on, or a cover-up if you just want to chuck something on over your bikini, kanthas are the latest accessory. They provide whatever cover you need on-hand. Aren’t they just awesome?

 7. RUG

The thicker, heavier kantha quilts can be used as rugs! Perfect for the teepee or glamping experience, they are a great choice for covering the entire tent floor – easy, fun and pleasant to sit or lie on – pile up some cushions and chill!

 8. YOGA MAT

Bored of the usual foam yoga mats – feeling like changing things up a bit? A folded kantha quilt that is fairly light-weight is ideal as an eco friendly yoga mat or yoga blanket. Because it’s layered cotton, it’s more hygienic and a more natural yoga mat than the typical foam yoga mats, and a lot more attractive as well. You can roll it up the same way or have it folded in your bag, and even use it for other things the same day – such as a picnic lunch!

 

What do you think? Can you think of any other great uses? Comment below or if you have a kantha or two tag us on Instagram @thekanthaproject 🙂