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Nakshi Kantha Or Resham Work- Bengal’s Pride

By Expert Author: Lakshmi

Nakshi Kantha, a work of unique and excellent quality from innovative experiments of Bengal people.

Traditional costumes play an inevitable role in every woman’s life. Salwar Suits are steady and indispensable versions of traditional Indian fashion.

One of the solitary heritages of Indian tradition is Nakshi Kantha. These Bengal works are remarkable accumulations and life-time bestows of India.

Nakshi Kantha is a work of cultural identity. It represents the content that usually runs in women’s mind such as romance, philosophy, sentiment and other happenings in daily lives. Totally, it is a work of artistic patterns and colourful designs.

The word “Nakshi” is derived from a Bengali word ‘Naksha’, means artistic patterns and “Kantha” is an etymology derived from a Sanskrit word “Kontha”, means rags or tattered clothes. Nakshi Kantha or Naksi or Resham is a Bengal’s folk quilt from pre-partition days.

Nakshi works have their roots in Bengal. During 5th century, a book that was written by Krishndas Kaviraj mentioned about Bengal Kantha. Later, West Bengal and Bangladesh are majorly producing these works.

Although this art exists almost in all parts of the world, but the working style in Bengal is unique and royal.

The goose bumping fact is, this art was done only in spare times as a time passing work and old and unnecessary clothes were used as basic fabrics in starting days.

This is a simple process that requires time, dedication and skill. Initially, it was done by women, today experienced and skilled weavers are doing this work.

Materials used are only clothes, needles and threads. At least 5 to 6 sarees are needed in making a standard size Kantha. In olden days, white was used as a background cloth with blue, red and black thread works.

Earlier, they did this work without using any drawing or pencil works on fabrics, so it took months and years of time. Today weavers are using trace papers, pens, and different coloured clothes and threads etc.

Weaver first attaches the sarees to attain required size and smoothens without any folds or creases. And then, starts stitching very intricate designs and works using needles and threads.

Running stitch, Anarasi, Cross stitch, Lohori Kantha and Sujni Kantha are popular and available types of Nakshi Kantha.

The major motifs such as solar, moon, wheel, tree of life, swastika, kalka, water, animals, mountain, boat, foot prints, rath, mosque, panja, kantha, palanquin, home and other

agricultural implements are designed intricately. These arts are also famous for their border works like wavy, pen, anchor, fish, necklace and other geometrical shaped borders.

Salwar kameez of Nakshi borders are classical and formal wears. Embroidery works of Nakshi Salwar suits with designer works and motifs are apt for weddings, festivals, parties and other grand occasions.

Unquestionably, this priceless art is an honourable gift to the world.

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