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Embroidered and Quilted Kanthas at the Victoria and Albert Museum ……. Guest Blogger: Penny Peters

November 13, 2016

In October 2014 Gail Harker took a group of students to England to study British Textiles.  One of our stops was at the famed Victoria & Albert Museum in London where we spent most of the day viewing magnificent 12th-19th C textiles embroidered in England.   Just as we were being ushered to meet our bus,  I spied a small exhibit of Kantha quilts from India.  They grabbed my attention partly because they were visually so different from the refined textiles we had just been studying.   Their repeating patterns were carried out in running stitch in yellow, red and blue threads on off white cotton fabrics, and in their simplicity they made powerful statements.  I grabbed my camera and was able to take a few photos as the others loaded onto the coach. 

Thanks to the Victoria and Albert Museum for allowing photography within the galleries.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2016 4:37 pm

    Thanks Penny. I love Kantha quilting. The pattern in the last piece from Bangladesh is wonderful.

  2. Ann Darling permalink
    November 13, 2016 10:16 pm

    Ah Penny, I have many photos of those very same pieces … they are so finely made, those particular pieces. Glad you got to see them. Wonder if you have seen our friend’s documentary about Kanta? It’s called Threads: The Art and Life of Surayia Rahman? Hmmm could be a fund raiser for the center and more exposure for Len and Kathy’s great documentary. I will email you her contact information.

  3. Barbara Fox permalink
    November 14, 2016 10:19 pm

    Oh Penny, these are so amazing! The stitch is so concentrated and the patterns are wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. January 26, 2018 7:56 pm

    Penny, these photos give us so much! To see how the whole is isolated in motifs with closeups is fabulous! Since our class my appreciation of Kantha has been growing exponentially! With your photos and the explanations in the Techniques of Indian Embroidery encourage me on to learn more. Thank you Penny and Gail for the short immersion into the Kutch and Bengali culture with slides, video, artifacts, and an extensive library!

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