KANTHA FISHTAIL PARKA
This garment was made using vintage Kantha.
The word Kantha is derived from the Sanskrit word Kontha which means “rag”. It is one of the oldest embroidery traditions in India and involves the process of stitching together layers of rags,traditionally from worn cotton saris, lungis,and dhotis, into blankets, coverlets, and baby swaddles. The technique, which originated in the Bengal region,was primarily practiced by rural women of all classes as cloth was a highly valued possession and was therefore carefully recycled. The outer layer of Kantha was typically a light fabric to show off the stitches which could take years to finish and depict motifs inspired by the women’s lives, religion, mythology, or traditions.
A portion of the sale of this Greg Lauren piece will support Bangladesh-based Nest Artisan Guild member, Pollee Unnyon Prokolpo (PUP), who are working to preserve the Kantha tradition through contemporary crafts. In Bangladesh, Kantha embroiderers are master artisans. It is traditional crafts that has been passed through generations. PUP provides professional training programs that allow embroidery artisans to align an age-old process with modern standards and help Kantha products compete on local and international market.
Greg Lauren is a member of Nest’s Craft Coalition and works with them in support of responsible and creative engagement with the global handcraft community.