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Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: Photography by Tara Deaton

Reusing and recycling can take on many forms, and it isn’t always a choice.

Sometimes it is a necessity.

Resourceful designs and techniques can be found cross culturally, and some have gone beyond mastering the process of creative frugality. Textiles and fabrics provide an example of how scrap materials can be formed into useful and needed items.

Peru is known for its long history of world renowned textile production.

Crafting blankets and protective clothing for their families by spinning organic fibers, they evolved the weaving process and references to their methods can be seen in many different designs.

Known for their durable, quality woven items, the vibrant colors were originally made using natural dyes. While many have gone to synthetic colorants to pass along the bright hues associated with Peruvian textiles, there is a resurgence in the natural dying process due to consumer demand.

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: Photography by Tara Deaton

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: Photography by Tara Deaton

The kantha, or stitched quilt, is another textile practice that can be seen in many cultures. Kantha is the Sanskrit word that means old rags, which are employed to make new blankets.

Originating in Bangladesh, kanthas were initially crafted by impoverished women who would stitch poignant stories into their quilts that were reflective of their aspirations and familial relationships. The hand stitched quilts would often be passed down and continued to be worked on throughout the generations.

Hand & Cloth is attempting to preserve this strong Bengali tradition. This textile company works with artisanal groups and provides a fair venue for the crafters’ items to be sold. Their original quilts are hand made by women from Basha who have received occupational training to further develop their skill so that they can improve their living situations.

Though made for practicality, the care that goes into each piece comes through in the creative designs.

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: handandcloth.org

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: handandcloth.org

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: handandcloth.org

Connected Fair Trade Goods & Gifts also offers unique, vintage kanthas. Their Fair Trade kantha quilts, bedding, throws and baby blankets are colorful and relaxed.

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: connectedgoods.com

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: connectedgoods.com

Textiles And Reused Rags Are Rich Traditions

Image source: connectedgoods.com

Weaving and making kanthas did not arise out of a desire to create artful coverings or showcase skills, but from need. However, the stories of nurturing hands that take what they have and smartly and devotedly provide with it have turned these traditional designs into pure pieces of everyday art.

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