About Craft: Kantha Embroidery is a centuries-old tradition of stitching and embroidering recycled cloth. Originating from West Bengal, Bihar and Bangladesh, it generally refers specifically to the simple, straight, running stitch. Kantha was never commissioned by kings, nor ordered by the landed gentry, but was passed down in learning and gifted from mother to daughter.
About Artisan: In 1972, Takdira Begum, a National Awardee and master craftsperson in Kantha embroidery established Beauty Kantha Production in Bolpur, West Bengal. She taught and trained the women of the adjacent villages in Kantha embroidery, encouraging them to develop financial independence. This family-run project today supports over 215 women embroiderers.
They developed a home furnishings line for the AMEX Dastkar At Home Project designed by Sangeeta Sen, in contrast to their standard product line of sarees, dupattas, stoles, dress cloth, etc. The group was also introduced to numerous Kantha stitches in addition to the basic running stitch.