This piece in deep sapphire blue tussar silk with off-white kantha.
These beautiful, hand embroidered Nakshi Kantha Shawls are works of art. Nakshi kantha is a traditional running stitch from Bengal, made up of motifs influenced by religion, culture and the lives of the women stitching them. These silk shawls are covered in all-over, illustrative embroidery and showcase the finest of the nakshi kantha tradition.
These pieces are large enough to wear across the shoulders as a shawl, soft enough to scrunch up and wear scarf-style around the neck, and versatile for use as a throw or to hang on the wall.
The kantha is done on a soft, hand woven tussar silk that has a luxurious feel and slightly slubbed texture. It becomes exquisitely soft with wear.
Material & Size
Made from 100% silk in West Bengal, India. Kantha stitch is made using cotton thread. Measures approximately 245 by 90 cm (96 by 35") with small variations.
Dry cleaning recommended. Note: this scarf may retain faint trace lines which will come out with wear and cleaning.
Nakshi Kantha Shawl | sapphire
The creation of our nakshi kantha is a lengthy process, laboriously undertaken in the verdant villages of rural West Bengal. Under the auspices or 60 year old Takdira Begum, a national awardee for her kantha work, 100 skilled women artisans hand embroider this beautiful fabric.
The first step in this process is the design of the pattern to be embroidered, which is then drawn onto tracing paper. This is done by Takdira Begum. Next, the lines of the pattern are punctured with a pin and the paper is then laid over the silk fabric. A paste of chalk and turpentine is then rubbed over the paper, and seeps through the small pin-holes onto the fabric below.
Now the silk has the pattern lines traced onto it. It's ironed and distributed amongst the artisans who take it home and stitch the kantha. Once complete, the fabric is hand washed several times to remove any stains and the tracing lines. Any variations or irregularities are part of the design and inherent to the production process.
- Eco: entirely hand made processes mean this item is eco-friendly. All materials are natural and thus bio-degradable.
- Women empowerment: handwork exclusively by women from highly marginalised communities. This work provides their only opportunity for earning income in their villages. The home-based work is suitable for all women and prevents urban migration.
- Responsible design: maintaining highest quality levels and use of traditional techniques and motifs ensures this ancient skill is preserved.