The association of women with textiles and threadwork is as old as time, one of the best examples of it is Kantha. It is a distinct style of Bengal embroidery applied to the creation of coverlets. Kantha crafting was a dying village craft, where the women made quilts using simple running stitch, using 3 layers of old saris together with threads drawn from the colored borders.
For generations of Bengali women, kantha has been a form of quiet expression. Even the most practical kantha is creative and spontaneous in nature. Overtime, a more elaborate nakshikantha tradition developed. Most kantha were made by illiterate women who would stitch stories into their quilts--which often would take years to complete. The same kantha is known to have been worked on by a generation from grandmother to daughter. Most of the kantha motifs reflect the journeywomen’s desire for marriage, motherhood and other aspects of life. Kantha allows every woman to freely express herself and to create intrinsic beauty in everlasting form.
The art of kantha has evolved over the years from a rural home craft into an urban commercial enterprise, today, this simple running stitch is effortlessly gracing ramps, working its way into haute couture labels, and for some, is the crown jewel in their personal collection of beautiful textiles.
Today Satayam is taking a step in holding the stitches toghter and taking the craft to a new dimension by holding hands with Malika’s Kantha Collection & Trading pvtltd which was officially set up to market the Kantha textiles in India, and for export of these textiles to foreign countries. Even though CSR was the prime motive of MKC, officially SHE (Self Help Enterprise) Foundation was set up in 2004 as a ‘corporate social responsibility ‘outlet for MKC. The organization today is helping a lot of rural women to lead a stable and respectful life.