Nakshi kantha, A type of embroidered quilt, is a centuries-old Bengali art tradition of the Bengali Region, The basic material used is thread and old cloth. Nakshi kanthas are made throughout Bangladesh, but the greater Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Bogra, Rajshahi, Faridpur and Jessore areas are most famous for this craft.
The colourful patterns and designs that are embroidered resulted in the name "Nakshi Kantha", which was derived from the Bengali word "naksha", which refers to artistic patterns. The early kanthas had a white background accented with red, blue and
black embroidery; later yellow, green, pink and other colours were also
included. The running stitch called "kantha stitch" is the main stitch used for the purpose.Traditionally, kantha was produced for the use of the family. Today,
after the revival of the nakshi kantha, they are produced commercially.
Different forms of the running kantha
stitch are named according to the pattern each creates. While each
kantha has designs that are unique to its maker’s imagination, usually
there is a basic traditional pattern. Some of the most common motifs
used are: lotus, solar, moon, chakra or wheel, swastika, tree-of-life,
kalka, water, mountain, fish, boat, agricultural items and animals
(elephant, horses, peacocks, tiger, monkeys, etc).
Chok Par :- eye border
Barfi Par :- diamond border
Beki Par :- wavy or bent
Nolok Taga :- nose ring border
Maach Par :- fish border
Chok Taga :- eye motif border
Dheu Par :- wavy border
Gaach Par :- tree border
The revival of Nakshi Kantha has not only generated an interest and
appreciation for this indigenous folk art of Bengal, but has also helped
to provide a livelihood for thousands of rural women who would
otherwise be unemployed or underemployed. Aarong has played an
instrumental role in reviving the kantha art since the late ‘70s by
training and supporting thousands of rural women in its various centers,
which focus specifically on the making of Nakshi Kantha and other
products, made from this art. It has helped to make this invaluable art
be integrated in Bangladesh’s cultural life and also promoted its value
and recognition on an international level.