Kantha is an ancient textile technique that hails from the streets of Bengal in India, and with thanks to a slick design studio in West London, it's now being reinvented. Kantha began its life centuries ago as the result of Bengali women’s thrifty innovations with cloth. It's a technique that poor women invented when they would take their discarded rags and sew them together with a simple running stitch to create something new for themselves and their loved ones, be it quilts, cushions or clothes. It was a habit that quickly proved itself to be not just useful, but beautiful too.
Tiipoi is one of London’s most creative studios designing textiles and homeware inspired by Indian craft, and they have just launched their new collection of textiles titled Modern Kantha. Including quilted blankets and cushions, this new collection is made with the hand-embroidery techniques that originated in West Bengal alongside the original kantha pattern, which is made up of rows of running stitches covering an entire fabric while also serving its functional duty of quilting the cloth together.
Founded by Spandana Gopal, Tiipoi’s new collection has been manufactured in collaboration with Witek Golik studio in Cophenhagen, set up by Martyna Golik and Sisse Witek. Spandana’s vision with Tiipoi is to create collections that speak of India’s ability to marry both craft and industrial manufacturing. Through her collections, she brings a new contemporary perspective on Indian design, fusing traditional techniques with bold and colourful forms.
Drawing on the best parts of traditional kantha work, Tiipoi's new collection has as good as hit refresh on this age-old Indian technique. Now held in high esteem in textile art and design industries around the world, kantha has its roots in plain old practicality – and this is something that Tiipoi are not forgetting as they transpose it into a new life of luxury.