Posted on August 14 2019
Have you wondered why we have a separate section purely for our Indigo Kantha quilts? It’s a great question and one we’re asked all the time. As you may have guessed, there’s a lot more to an Indigo Kantha than just its stunning colour. In fact, they’re made in an entirely different way from our Vintage Kantha quilts.
The beginnings of an Indigo Kantha quilt
The process of making an indigo cotton quilt begins in the same way as other varieties of Kantha, with a preloved 100% cotton sari. These garments come in a wide range of colours and designs, and are wonderfully soft. Over time, as with any item of clothing, older saris become faded and unworn, at which point they can be repurposed into one of these beautiful indigo quilt throws.
How fabric becomes a Kantha quilt
The lightest coloured saris are specially selected to become Indigo Kanthas, and are sent to our artisans in a remote area of India. To create one of the beautiful Indigo Kanthas found on our website, at least two layers of sari are handstitched using thick thread as is traditional in Kantha embroidery. Once the stitching has been completed, further decoration begins.
The design and printing process
To give each blanket its unique look, each sari is handprinted using a traditional block printing method. A small wooden block decorated with a specific pattern is tapped into a specially created mud and then applied to the fabric. This process is repeated to cover the entire cotton quilt. The fabric is then dried in the sun for two days before beginning the indigo dying treatment.
Getting that unique colour
Once the mud is well dried, the cotton throw can be dipped into a purpose made well which is filled with non-synthetic, 100% natural indigo dye. The areas of fabric which have not been exposed to mud absorb the dye, while the printed areas are shielded from the dye. After a further period drying in the sun, the fabric is washed to remove the mud and any excess dye - and voila!
A Unique Quilt to Gift or Keep
These Indigo Kantha quilts are truly one of a kind for a number of reasons, making them perfect for a unique gift or simply to keep for yourself.
- The base sari will differ with each quilt.
- The design chosen by our artisans will vary.
- The printing process creates irregularities with every quilt.
- The handmade nature of the quilts makes each one unique.
And if those reasons weren’t enough, one of these remarkable quilts also supports Indian artisans, keeps the tradition alive, and saves textiles from landfill. A truly feelgood purchase!
The hardest part? Deciding which one to choose!