Uttarakhandi kantha is a form of embroidery often used by rural women. The traditional form of canta embroidery is a soft dottis and sari, made with simple stitches around the edges.
The earliest and most basic kantha stitch is the simple straight stitch used in kantha saree scarves. The beauty of this kantha is that the front side is a complex geometric pattern, while the back side of the fabric is shaped by looping the thread on only one side, leaving a simple kantha with straight running stitches.
Although the word Kantha has no definite etymology, it is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit word kontha, meaning rags. One of the oldest forms of embroidery originated in India, its origins date back to pre-Vedic times (before 1500 BC), although the earliest records date back 500 years. In his book titled Sri Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, poet Krishnadas Kaviraj writes how Chaitanya's mother sent a homemade Kantha to her son in Puri through itinerant pilgrims. Kantha's revival was again cut short during the partition of India in 1947 and the ensuing conflict between India and what was then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).