Thai ethnic brocade weaving

OVN- For years, brocade weaving has become a cul- tural and indispensable tradition in the spir- itual life of the Thai ethnic group. They imply the philosophy of the harmony in life, of the uni- verse, and the philosophy of life of Thai ethnic people themselves through years.


Thai women weave unique fabrics from cotton yarn (Photo: TL)

f H'mong people make their clothes from fine linens and dyed bee wax, Thai people, on the other hand, prefer to grow cotton and weave var- ious types of fabrics sheets to make clothes. Going to any village of Thai people when the crop is over, you can be impressed with the images of the women or mothers weaving fabrics.

Most Thai women would be taught to grow cottons, spinning yarns, weaving fab- rics and embroidering brocades, because this old lifestyle indicates how a woman should be. Otherwise, no matter how hard a woman works, she is still considered as lazy. That's why, Thai people's perspective on the beauty is that "happy to work, happy to eat, happy to turn yarns into fabrics"; "palm down turn into patterns, palm up turn into flowers".

The brocade of the North-western Thai peo- ple often has white, red, yellow, green, purple or other eye-catching colors. Different types of plants are used as coloring material. For in- stance, red is from “co phang" tree, yellow is from “co hem” and “pui” tree, brown is from "xet” tree and dioscorea cirrhosa mixed with indigo....

Each color has its own meaning, the white color represents the sky, the black color represents the earth, the red color symbolizes fire and sun, the yellow color represents the moon, the blue indigo represents life and all living creatures on earth. The creation of patterns on each fabric sheet would require creativity and dexterity of the hands. Making cubic patterns can be sim- ple but to have beautiful brocade products, the patterns should be weaved with colorful threads and the brocade should be direct- ly knitted on the looms.


Thai people weave brocade sheets that are passionate about people (Photo: TL)


Using nature as a pattern, brocade of the Northwestern Thai people looks like a small living world with animals, sun, flowers, trees and plants. For instance, there are rhinestones-shape lines, stylized flowers, streams with rocks and white bubbles, the long beam of flowers, sin- gle or double leaves, buds, vines, witted and active monkeys, otters symbolizing a loyal love and a happy family.

On the blanket, there can be some images of serpents showing love, dreams and noble selflessness of the mother, the faithful wife, and so on. They imply the philosophy of the harmony in life, of the uni- verse, and the philosophy of life of Thai ethnic people themselves through years.

Minh Khue

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