Brand Profile: The Hantu Collective

      Today's post at The Totality highlights the Sheffield-based Hantu Collective .

HAntu Collective
Photos: Dominic Gregory
   One of the most fulfilling parts of being a writer is constantly being exposed to the new, the unknown, the unexpected. This was the case this week when I was introduced to the latest line of clothing by Hantu.

   The Hantu Collective, worn by the likes of Hudson Mohawke and GZA, boast a range of products made from ethical sources, printed with water-based ink and finished by hand. What makes the brand, and their range, rather unique however is the fact that the designs are influenced by traditional Indonesian culture and, also, that 25% of their profits go towards sustaining the Hantu Indonesian Batik Campaign .

   In Indonesia, Batik is a two thousand year old traditional art-form of dying fabrics and materials which involves a highly labour-intensive method to create it's ornate results. Patterns are drawn on to cloth in molten wax with a copper spout called a "canting", then dyed in vat containers of deep, natural colour (similar to tie-dying). The wax, of course, prevents dye from soaking into the materials and, as such, are used to create extravagant patterns. Once this has taken place, the wax is boiled out and the process is repeated a multitude of times to further increase the intricacy of the designs. As such, Batik fabric can take anywhere from between ten hours and multiple days to successfully prepare.

   Hantu aim to bring this method to a wider audience and to help support practitioners of the art-form both through their aforementioned Batik Campaign and through the application of designs inspired by this practice. Whilst the items in Hantu's shop  take the form of more classically Western garments, the patterns owe a clear debt to Indonesian stylings. As the dyes used are hand, rather than machine, mixed, each item is truly unique and helps support the livelihood of Indonesian workers.

   Hantu started ten years ago and can be followed on Facebook and Twitter too. The images used in this article are taken from their latest, Valentine's inspired shoot by Dominic Gregory - an atmospheric look at how love may not always be as saccharine as it appears in the movies.

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