Have you seen the kantha quilts at Sundance?
With the kantha look available at Pottery Barn, it’s hit mainstream:
As you see above, kantha is a simple running stitch, made by hand for this effect. The stitch can be straight lines or form a design.
At Nalli in Chennai years ago, I got gorgeous lustrous saris. They’re a mix of poly and cotton. Washing them will dramatically change the hand of the textiles though. I’ve wanted to use them for the guest room bed, and kantha may be a way to embrace how the texture will change. Wash them, let them shrink and shrivel, and stitch them. Sometimes you can’t keep perfection forever by preserving these things all folded up on a shelf to keep them safe. We should live with them, use them.