Fashion on Film: Threads

Older Bangladeshi women teaching three younger Bangladeshi embroidery techniques

How is it possible to sustain traditions and livelihoods in today’s fashion industry? Join filmmaker Cathy Stevulak for discussion of this award-winning film and the evolution of the tradition of “kantha” embroidery from patchworks of old clothing to articles of fashion. 

Threads takes us on a journey with artist Surayia Rahman and a community of embroiderers in Bangladesh who, for three decades and against many odds, help sustain an important textile tradition of “kantha” – the Bengali technique of repurposing old clothing into patchwork embroidered fabrics – by refining it into an internationally recognized art form.  The film weaves together stories told by the women and images of textile masterpieces they created that are now in private collections and museums throughout the world.  (Cathy Stevulak, 2014, 32 minutes.)

This program is a collaboration with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at GW's Elliott School of International Affairs.

About Cathy Stevulak

Cathy Stevulak has worked across Canada and internationally as a public affairs and international development consultant. Threads is her debut as a documentary director. While living in Bangladesh and working as a senior adviser with the United Nations Development Program, she met many women who were quietly revolutionizing their own lives through art and craft, drawing from their own culture and resources. Their resilience was an inspiration that needs to be shared.

How to Participate

To participate, simply sign up here, and then watch the film at your leisure before Thursday, July 29. The film is available to stream on Vimeo. We will email you a link and instructions for joining our group discussion on Zoom. When you register, you can also ask to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included. 

About the Fashion on Film Series

Monthly discussions on documentary and feature films explore the world of fashion, design, sustainability and global textile traditions. Browse upcoming programs