Songs of stitches
With Kantha embroidery, Bangladesh has got one of the most refined local hand crafts, which combines stitching and recycling. Having evolved about 200 years ago in rural regions, it is based on old sarees which are recomposed into new textile surfaces. Back then, because of a lack in the local market, even the threads for the stitching had to be recycled from the fabrics. A perfect example for an early no waste concept.
Kantha therefore hasn’t lost its relevance at all, although as a time consuming craft, it is no longer as prevalent as before. This project can be seen as a re-interpretation of that old tradition, still made of the same recycled material (equally using the stronger border areas for the threads), but with a different outcome. The stitchings here add new abstract layers to the printed patterns, whereas the overall result is a collection of Kimonos.
Reviving this sustainable craft tradition, also responds to the bad circumstances of textile manufacturing in Bangladesh. Kantha can be practiced at home. It is time consuming, but easy to learn and thus allows for more empowerment and autonomy.