Guest blog post by Anandi Paliwal of the site Kantha is an embroidery done on ‘muslin’ or silk, practised by Bangladeshi, Bengali and Odissi women. Earlier traditional embroidery of each region, revealed their caste, status or the village of its origin through its stitches and designs. kkjll014_2 For example, the Hindu ladies chose religious motifs, various birds and beasts like peacock, parrots, elephants, lion, tiger and signs from primitive art like sun, the swirling cosmos and tree of life etc. While the Muslim women because of ‘purdah’ were restricted to geometrical designs and plants or flowers since those were the only things they observed. The craft was practised by all women of the rural class during leisure time. dsc_0941-600x350 In early days it was done only on a white background accented with red, blue and black embroidery but with time a brighter palette was added to make the craft more appealing and commercially viable for the poor artisans. No two pieces can be the same since the layers of old soft cotton ‘dhotis’ (sarees) are recycled and made precious with their handiwork; the embroidery tightly binds them, and crafts it into an heirloom. DSC_3764 Kinche’s structured feminine silhouettes use bright vintage Dhakai kantha from Calcutta. These one-of-a-kind jackets, dresses and skirts feel modern when interpreted as 'boho chic'. Payal Jaggi is seen blurring the cultural and geographical barriers  between 'boho' style and traditional craft through her ethical, upcycled and handmade fashion label Kinche, from Gurgaon, in India.

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  • Ambika Paliwal on

    Great article and beautiful jackets!

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