Kantha embroidery of Bengal


Kantha is a kind of embroidery native to Bengal and is almost exclusively practised by women, many of them from home. It is a source of income for a lot of rural women who probably sell their exquisite craft to a middleman for a song, not knowing the astronomical price it will fetch from the final buyer. That’s economics for you! Kantha Kantha Kantha

This piece and the border were cut off from an old saree because the body was disintegrating. Fortunately the border and pallav were intact so I put it on one of Ma’s sarees. The narrow black border that you can all along the edge is part of her saree. So this a joint collaboration between Ma, Mejdi (my sister)¹ and me!


“Absolutely super fun and wonderful experience to be a part of Joy Bimal Roy’s fabulous creations, ideas and exotic world. His attention to detail is far superior than many professionals I have worked with. Last but not the least, it was great to get out of shorts and into my favourite outfit, the ever graceful, ever gorgeous saree. Felt beautiful. I love sarees. My Grandfather said sarees suited me most and my Grandmother used to make my cousin and me wear her sarees as kids after we were started off with bedsheets to practice with.”
Radhika Nag, Model /Art Director
Radhika Nag


Model in the header pic: Radhika Nag
Concept up-cycling, styling and photography: Joy Bimal Roy
Location: The Roys Bungalow, Bandra


¹Yashodhara Roy designed costumes for films such as Govind Nihalani’s Hazar Chaurasi Ki Ma and Takshak.



Joy Bimal Roy is the son of Bimal Roy (legendary filmmaker) and Manobina Roy (one of India’s pioneer woman photographers). He started his filmmaking stint as an assistant director to Shyam Benegal, and years later, made a biographical documentary, ‘Remembering Bimal Roy,’ which received rave reviews at international film festivals. He is presently writing the first of his books on the behind-the-scenes happenings of the Hindi film industry of yore, & designing clothes & interior spaces. He aspires to being a film costume & set designer.

No comment
Site Archives

Related by

  • I found this Kalamkari piece in a plastic bag stuffed with other bits and pieces of fabric in the inner recesses of my sister Yashodhara’s¹ cupboard. It was obviously...
  • Could love be having to say you are a sari? It certainly could. This border belonged to a sari gifted to my sister Yashodhara¹ 35 years ago, on 4th September 1985 by...
  • The original saree (header pic; on the extreme left) was a Garad saree from Bengal, worn traditionally by married women when performing a puja. It is made of pure...