Plant Dyed Kantha Quilts

Plant Dyed Kantha Quilts

Namai's Quilted Plant Dyed Kantha Jackets are some of the most beautiful and unique pieces in the studio. Their creation combines traditional plant dying and mud printing techniques with the intricate stitching of kantha embroidery. The result is a stunning textile that showcases the rich cultural heritage of India. In this blog post, we will explore the history, process, and significance of plant dying and mud printing on kantha quilts. 

What is plant dying?

Plant dye, also known as natural dye, is a coloring substance derived from plants. It is extracted from various parts of the plant, such as leaves, flowers, stems, and roots. These natural dyes contain pigments that can be transferred to fabrics, resulting in a wide range of colors. 



Why is plant dying preferred over synthetic dyes?

 Unlike synthetic dyes, plant dyes are biodegradable and do not contribute to water pollution. They are derived from renewable resources and have a lower carbon footprint making the more environmentally friendly than synthetic dyes. Plant dyes are non-toxic and do not pose health risks to humans or the environment. They are safe to use, even for individuals with sensitive skin. These natural dyes also produce colors that are often more nuanced and complex than synthetic dyes. They can create subtle variations and natural gradients.

 Popular Plant Dyes

Here are some popular plant dyes and the colors they produce:
Madder Root: Produces shades of red, from pale pink to deep burgundy.

Indigo: Yields beautiful shades of blue, ranging from sky blue to deep navy.

Turmeric: Creates vibrant yellow hues.

Logwood: Offers a range of purple and gray tones.


What is mud printing?

The process of mud printing starts with preparing the fabric by washing it to remove any impurities. Then, the fabric is soaked in a mixture of mud and natural dyes, such as indigo or turmeric, to create the desired color. The designs are then applied by hand using mud to prevent the dye from penetrating certain areas of the fabric. Once the fabric is dry, the mud is washed off, revealing the intricate patterns and designs. 


How is mud printing combined with kantha quilts?

Once the fabric is dry and the mud is washed off the quilt is then ready to be embellished with kantha embroidery. Skilled artisans use a needle and thread to create beautiful motifs and designs, often inspired by nature.  The use of natural, plant dyes and mud gives the fabric a unique texture and color, while the kantha embroidery adds depth and intricacy to the design. Each piece of plant dyed, mud printed kantha is a work of art, showcasing the skill and creativity of the artisans who create them.

Every Namai Quilted Plant Dyed Kantha Jacket tells a story and carries with it the traditions and history of the region. 

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