Love affair with Nakshi Kantha

Weaving Nakshi stitches is an art nurtured by village women. Different patterns, designs and unique motifs reflect this age-old art form in our silk scarves.

Nakshi Kantha is the reflection of life, aspirations and culture of the village women of Bengal. The motifs used in Nakshi-Kantha Work are symbols that have a special place in the folk art tradition of Bangladesh. The rural women express their feelings through folk art.

Nakshi Kanth is a type of traditional embroidery art form that is quite unique to Bangladesh. However, a notable difference can be seen in nakshi kanthas made in Jashore, Rajshahi, Kushtia and Jamalpur. By looking at the stitches one can identify the origin of the nakshi.

I like Nakshi Kantha for many reasons. Even though it can be time consuming and requires a huge amount of patience, it is reasonably easy to stitch. It can also be embroidered on old clothes, like sarees, to make a light quilt.

Women in almost every household in rural villages are more or less kantha experts. They spend whatever quiet time they have available – between looking after the house and children, tending to livestock and during the long days of the monsoon – on stitching the pieces. It can take months or even years to complete one large kantha piece, especially if it is depicting a story through various stitch patterns and motifs. These stitchings are handed down through generations.

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