The Kanthas or embroidered wraps are
the priceless collection of this museum. People from all over
the world refer to these collections (210 in all), which were
made in the early 19th to early 20th century by the Bengali womenfolk.
Majority of the collection of this museum are from undivided Bengal,
collected personally by Shri Gurusaday Dutt in the early 20th
Century. Incidentally Gurusaday Museum has the largest number
of Kanthas in the world in its collection.
Kanthas are generally meant for regular
use in the Bengali village households as wraps, light quilts,
bedspreads, etc. They were originally made by hand stitching several
layers of old & used saris or fine cotton cloths and then
embroidering them with floral, animal, human or geometric folk
motifs. The womenfolk painstakingly makes them still today, during
the leisure hours. These Kanthas, the highly decorated ones, were
also gifted to the daughters during their marriage ceremonies
and as a token of love. The old and highly decorated Kanthas have
now become collectors item. They have also become a major folk
art industry of Bengal and are done on all kinds of dresses -
from Designer Saris to Men's Kurtas.