Stitched Up: The Essential Guide to Choosing an Authentic Kantha Scarf

 

Handmade and one-of-a-kind our Kantha scarves have a rich history. Originating in Bangladesh and West Bengal, Kantha stitching is believed to go as far back as a thousand years. This cultural heritage is passed down through generations of families, from mother to daughter, where pre-loved sari's are embellished with a running stitch to create stunning scarves in bright, happy colours. Today, there is a dizzying choice of Kantha scarves available on the market. So how do you know you're buying a genuine, handmade, quality scarf? Look no further, here's our essential guide to choosing an authentic Kantha scarf.

Who doesn't love a two for one deal!

Choose a Kantha scarf that has two layers of sari material. Who wants a thin, flimsy, lifeless scarf that just hangs around your neck. A scarf with a double layer drapes beautifully, holds its shape and provides support for the intricate Kantha stitch.  Plus, two different layers means you can change your look effortlessly. It's a win-win for your wardrobe! 

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A match made in heaven 

The difference between a good Kantha scarf and a truly stunning Kantha scarf, is how well the two layers of fabric compliment each other. I've seen scarves with patterns and colours that just don't work in harmony with each other. Not good for you when you're trying to accessorise your outfit. A lot of time and skill goes into deciding how the designs and colours of our scarves are put together. This makes all the difference to to the overall look. A well put together Kantha Sari scarf will take your wardrobe from meh to oh yeah! 

On the straight and narrow

The Kantha running stitch gives the scarf a luxurious, quilted texture. A sign of good quality craftsmanship is attention to detail. Look for stitches that are small, straight, neat and close together. Overly large, uneven stitches overpower the beautiful designs of the sari fabric and lend a chaotic look to the overall finish.

Thread giveaway

A quality Kantha scarf stitched with a high quality cotton thread will last for years, keep its shape and not fall apart after a few washes. Look at the thickness of the thread and ensure it doesn't have too much give when gently pulled or stretched. 

The proof is in the washing

So you've decided to hand wash your Kantha scarf. To your horror, your sink looks like something out of the film Psycho! A good quality Kantha scarf will not leach colour. Think about it, the scarf used to be a sari right? So it must have been washed countless times before. Only Kantha scarves that have been dyed with inferior dyes will bleed colour into one another. Our scarves remain vibrant after washing, never fade or shrink. Remember, treasure your Kantha silk sari scarf with a gentle hand wash. Don't soak or wring it and always dry in the shade. If you're nervous about washing a Kantha scarf you have, simply get it dry cleaned.

Is it really handmade?

A fully handmade Kantha Scarf should be handstitched all the way to the edges. A dead giveaway that you are buying something not completely handmade is the overlock stitch on the edges of the scarf made by a sewing machine. It really makes a difference to how the scarf drapes when the seams are beautifully finished by hand.

Why we love our Kantha sari scarves

Well, they simply make us happy! Beautifully vibrant, with crazy intricate stitching, you can dress our Kantha scarves up or down. They add a gorgeous pop of colour to any outfit and the quality is second to none. Timeless and elegant, they make you feel special and most of all the story behind them is so rich and diverse. I mean, how cool is it when you wear something that's actually been signed by the artisan who made it! Most of all you're helping marginalised rural women earn a living to get themselves out of poverty.