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Choosing a Kantha Quilt: Vintage or New?

Posted on July 23 2019

If you’ve been scrolling through our shop, the chances are high that you’ve got a rather long list of 100% cotton Kantha quilts to narrow down. We know how hard it is to choose a Kantha quilt - we’ve been there! 


If you’re struggling to make a decision on which Indian throw to bring home with you, you’re in the right place. We’ve created a number of guides to help you. 


So, let’s get started!

What is a Kantha Quilt?

Our stunning new Kantha quilts have been created by sewing together multiple layers of 100% cotton fabric.   

The top layer is block printed by hand, creating the vibrant designs you see here. 

 The bottom layer of the throw is usually left plain and can be in either a complimentary or contrasting colour. Finally, the two layers are hand-stitched in traditional Kantha embroidery using contrasting threads to create interest. The edges are also finished this way. 


These quilts are not the traditional style of Kantha but are named as such for their embroidery.

What is a Vintage Kantha Quilt?

Translated from Sanskrit, Kantha means “rags”. The original quilts would have been made by mothers and grandmothers for members of their family out of old scraps of clothing. The modern version of these blankets still use saved fabric, but as you can see, they’re far from rags! 

The authentic Kantha quilt is vintage by nature, created from saris which are no longer worn. The usable pieces of cloth are pieced together to create patchworked layers of bedspread size cloth. 

Using the same method as described for the newer-style throws, Vintage Kantha quilts are finished by stitching anywhere from three to eight layers of fabric together using contrasting embroidery. 

Vintage vs New Kantha - The highlights

Whether you opt for a new or vintage throw is going to be a very personal decision and one which could well be swayed further based on the designs and colours that catch your eye. However, there are a few factors to take into account when looking at vintage vs new, so here’s a short summary.

New Kantha Quilt:

  • These newly printed throws will have a cohesive colour palette used throughout, making them the ideal choice if you have a specific look in mind. 
  • The fabric will also be consistent throughout, with the printed design being carried through an entire side of the fabric. 
  • Being handprinted, there may be small discrepancies in the print, but in general two quilts of the same design will be indistinguishable from one another. Great if you want to create harmony in a room. 

Vintage Kantha Quilt:

  • Totally unique, one of a kind throws that cannot be replicated. Each of these Indian blankets is created using different fabrics which are sewn together as needed. 
  • Using 100% reclaimed fabric, the vintage Kantha blankets are our most ecologically sustainable product, saving perfectly good textiles from landfill. 
  • The mix of designs and colours you’ll find in one quilt make for an eye-catching combination. Whether you’re creating a bohemian, arts and crafts, or shaggy chic style, this will make a great addition to any room.

So there we have it, everything you need to know about vintage and new Kantha quilts. Do you have a question that we haven’t answered? Feel free to comment below and we’ll try our best to help.

2 comments

  • Kantha Decor: January 09, 2020

    When you see and feel the fabric it can easily be determined if its made from new fabric or it is vintage. All our vintage Kantha Quilts have clear signs of aging. We also try to show details in our product photographs. If you browse through the range you can clearly see they are vintage. Hoep this helps. Thank you!

  • jc: January 09, 2020

    How can I know if a Kantha was made NOW of vintage fabriics or made say 50 years ago?
    Is there a way to tell?

    Thanks,.

    JC

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