Window to Chiang Mai Thailand
Mudplaying with Elephants
In the past, weaving was a most important skill for Thai women. Plain designs were for daily use, while those woven for rituals or ceremonies were elaborate. In the north, cotton was woven by the Tai Yuan and Tai Leu, and silk was woven by the Lao. Thus silk usually had to be imported some distance and only high ranking families could afford it. Nowadays silk production is well established in the valley.See also Traditional Dress
Women demonstrated their weaving skills on the tube skirt, known as pha sin. In the north the main parts of everyday pha sin are patterned with horizontal stripes and have separate waistbands and hem pieces sown on.
Ritual pha sin have much more detailed decoration and vary according to group.
Geography and ethnic origin determined the style because the women weavers stayed close to their place of birth. Young women produced the most complex pieces to show their skills to potential husbands.
In the Chiang Mai valley, the favored colors are red, green and yellow, with red and black being used in the waistband and hem pieces. The decoration is put in the hem piece in a style of weaving known as tin chok which creates diamond shaped patterns.
Where to see hand-woven fabrics:
The best places to see traditional weaving are in the cotton weaving villages south of Chom Thong and near Mae Chaem. The silk emporiums on San Kamphaeng Road have demonstrations showing how silk fiber is produced and woven.
Fai Sor Kam
60 Wualai Road, Chiang Mai 50000.
Located in the heart of the silver making district. The factory is on H108 KM.65.
Tel: 053201507-8 Fax: 053201508
8/3 Chiang Mai - San Kamphaeng Road, Chiang Mai 50000 (H1006 KM.3)
Hrs. 08:30 - 17:30.
Silk weaving factory is behind the shop.
Tel: 053247222, 053247333 Fax: 053247887
Shinawatra Thai Silk
145/1-2 San Kamphaeng Road, Chiang Mai 50000 (H1006 KM. 7)
A local house with branches in San Kamphaeng, in Chiang Mai on Huay Kaew Road, and in Bangkok.
Tel: 053338054-5 Fax: 053338475
138/8 Soi Chang Khian - off Huay Kaew Road
Hrs. 8:30-17:00. Call first.
Offers expert knowledge on hand-woven tube skirts and natural dyeing.
Tel: 053226042 Fax: 053217707
All Handicrafts of Chiang Mai