Close-Up On: Poetic Threads of Pakistan

Sustaining Livelihoods, Preserving Culture


As a testimony to the human spirit, Hemingway once wrote that the world breaks everyone, but afterward, some are strong at the broken places. That capacity for resilience, and for facing adversity with courage in order to rebuild oneself and one’s community after it has been bent to the point of breaking, is an inspiring occurrence we can observe in all corners of the world. It is a common thread in the fabric of humanity.

Photo courtesy of Poetic Threads of Pakistan. 

Creatively facing the hurdles that have befallen them, a community of artisans in Pakistan is an inspiring example of this optimism. When a flood devastated the livelihoods of an estimated 20.4 million people in Pakistan in 2010, a company named Poetic Threads of Pakistan (PTOP) emerged with a vision to overcome adversity through art. PTOP offers an outlet for men and women to restore their livelihood through the production of traditional crafts such as Moghul Kundan jewelry and fine Hazara (Jiti) embroidery. The initiative connects weavers living in remote valleys – who continue to hand-weave their sheared wool into fine fabrics – with women-lead cooperatives that embroider and embellish the product. Intricate maroon and fuchsia geometric floral designs traditional to Pakistan are the common motifs.

Photo courtesy of Poetic Threads of Pakistan. 

Believing in the importance of the story behind every product, Pure Art is honoured to showcase the incredible work of PTOP. Originating from the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located along the Afghan border, the artisans and their craftwork are painting a truer portrayal of a region often misrepresented by conflict and war. Instead, they are exhibiting the very resilience Hemingway wrote of.

This dress is hand-embroidered and incredibly comfortable. It's one of our favorites!

It is essential to remember our connection to the people behind the products we purchase. In supporting PTOP as shoppers, we are connecting with the shepherds and their families of those remote valleys of Pakistan. We are connecting with women who are learning handicraft skills while feeling a newfound sense of financial freedom and confidence. We are connecting with communities that are finding a personal, as well as an international, appreciation for their heritage.

This connection, this fundamental link between consumer and producer, is one that PTOP offers the global market openly and beautifully.

Visit us at the Boutique to try some our favorite items from the Spring 2016 Collection! 



March 28, 2016 — Liam McKinnon