In my post about Hiking the Narrows with Kids, I listed important items to take with you on the hike. One of the things I mentioned was a sarong and how it just might come in handy when someone needs to use the restroom on the river where there is no privacy to be found! Following that post, a fellow traveler and blog reader reached out to introduce me to her line of beautiful silk travel wraps made in India. We quickly bonded over our shared history of India and the fact that she couldn’t get the hilarious image of me using my sarong as a bathroom door out of her head! Anyway, I agreed to check out her travel wrap and even take it with me on my next trip, which was to Fiji.
I know what you are thinking. Why would I need a wrap/shawl on a beach holiday. Well I thought the same. I wasn’t sure how much it was going to come in handy while on a beach, but with some trepidation I left my trusty sarong at home and packed my shiny new silk wrap instead.
If you were to guess, what would you say was my most used travel item on my trip to Fiji. Are you thinking swimsuit? Snorkel mask? Underwater camera? If so, you are wrong. I wouldn’t have guessed it myself, but we happened to be in Fiji during the “turn of the season” as the locals refer to it, which brings with it 8 straight days of cool wind and rain. So yep, you got it, the travel wrap ended up being the most used travel item on my beach holiday!! I had plenty of opportunities to test it out since I packed no cool weather clothes and I have to say that I LOVE it!
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The Kantha Travel Wrap
The first thing to know about these wraps are that they are made in India using recycled materials. In other words, they are upcycled, which is all the rage these days in trendy US circles. With no aim to cater to this trendy market, upcycling is actually a traditional and often necessary way of life in India. Old clothes and materials are used to create something new and even more beautiful. It is not just these shawls that the Indian method of recycling can be seen. Upcycling can be seen throughout India and in particular with popular tourist items such as hand embroidered wall hangings and purses.
These shawls are not amazing just because they are made using recycled materials, but because they also are created using a traditional method of embroidery known as “kantha”. Kantha is originally from the Bengal region of India and refers to the process of joining two scraps of cloth by embroidering over them in long running stitches. The usage of two (or more) scraps results in a thicker material that is then also reversible. The end result are these exquisite wraps. The fabrics used are hand dyed or printed silk fabric combined beautifully with another color and type of design creating a uniquely Indian look.
In all of my years of living in India, I never came across this type of work or these type of shawls. They are definitely something special that I am certain will be trending in your local Anthropologie very soon!
There are definitely more pros than cons when thinking about these beautiful, hand embroidered silk shawls. They are huge, but pack small, which means they can be used for so many things. On our trip, my wrap was used as:
- a blanket for my son when he fell asleep with jetlag at dinner,
- as a shawl/jacket/coverup for me almost every day when it was windy and cool,
- as a full body wrap for my son while out hunting crabs on the beach,
- as a beach blanket and towel when we were dropped off on a private beach forgetting our towels on the boat and
- as a beautiful shawl that I wore over my basic H&M dress to fancy up my outfit for an unexpectedly nice dinner out.
It proved to an absolutely perfect companion to our trip and has now replaced my 10 yr old sarong as my go-to travel wrap!
This wrap is a touch bigger/heavier than my sarong or pashmina that normally goes with me. However, it turned out to be great that it was larger and thicker material than my previous travel wraps since I needed it to keep warm. I also found that it is much more durable than either of those which might mean more at the end of the day than a little bulk in my purse.
The only potential obstacle for some readers might be the price tag. At $45 each, it is not as cheap as a sarong, but on the other hand, it is also not near as expensive as a pashmina. For me, it works out to be pretty reasonable considering how much use one will get out of it. Trust me, you will use it no matter where you go. Whether you are a backpacker or a luxury traveler, it will fit into your travel life.
Now you can own a Kantha Travel Wrap of your own. To help build up your travel essentials kit, The Stoke LA has graciously offered to provide one of these beauties to one lucky reader. These make excellent gifts for any travelers in the family or just an awesome winter shawl for yourself. Don’t forget, the holiday season is quickly approaching!
Even if you don’t win, you can still take advantage of an awesome 20% discount by mentioning the code nobackhome at checkout on The Stoke LA’s website. This discount applies to all products, not just the Kantha Travel Wrap. Head over to The Stoke LA to check out these beautiful shawls as well as other items sourced from India that you will also fall in love with!
Enter below to win your very own wrap. Act quickly, the giveaway ends November 18, 2015. You can come back every day to increase your chances of winning! Good Luck!
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Disclaimer: This product was provided free of charge to me to review, but as always, all opinions are my own.
This post is part of #WeekendWanderlust & #TheWeeklyPostcard.