Kolkata, the commercial capital of Eastern India, is the capital of the state of West Bengal. From the list of various traditional arts on handlooms and handicrafts, originated in the state, Kantha is one of the oldest forms of embroidery that persists among the masses.
Kantha embroidery, a household craft, is considered unique for its ability to convey a story with artistic expression. Hence rural households make use of it to create quilts for their families, as well as embroider personal fabrics and garments such as sarees, dhotis, and handkerchiefs.
In West Bengal, Kantha is also used in quilting to create light quilts popularized as Nakshi Kantha. The craft went through a major setback due to falling recognition in the early stage of the 20th century until it was revived by the Kala Bhavana Institute of Fine Arts in the 1940s. It was also received by Shamlu Dudeja in the 1980s when she founded Self Help Enterprise (SHE) that helped empower women through Kantha embroidery.
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