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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
We were pleasantly surprised to recently find a group of silk weavers from Isaan, but southeast of Chiang Rai . All elderly ladies, they did the complete process, from raising the silkworms (and growing their own mulberry trees), to tying and dyeing the threads (tho with chemical dyes), to weaving the cloth. This is unusual to find in far northern Thailand- 'ikat', or as it is called in Thailand 'mutmee'- is only done by a few groups up here, with the Tai Lue the only ones using silk, and only rarely (plus their patterns are not as complex or large as those from Isaan). I have posted more photos on my blog, dated August 2011. Here are just a few to give you an idea.


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Susan Stem

http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


Last edited by susan stem on Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:33 am
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Location: Beijing
Lovely photos, and the fabrics are very attractive too, a very nice soft ikat and with very restrained colors. I can almost feel the texture in that silk.

With the piece on the loom it looks like the ikat fades away towards the far side, or is that just a trick of the lighting?

Looks like weft ikat. Do they make warp ikat too?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:34 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thank you Chris- they only do weft ikat. Warp ikat seems to be only done by the 'hilltribe' weavers: Karen and Lawa. In Isaan, most of the people were predominantly Lao-Tai, plus some Khmer. The current border with Laos is only relatively recent (since the late 19thc. when the French colonized and named Laos), and there has always been a lot of movement of people with the change of leadership. For all I know, these ladies' antecedents may have been moved to the north with a shift of power. It is rare to see warp ikat used by Tai people- very rarely some small warp ikat motifs are included in Tai Daeng weavings in Laos, but not in Isaan in Thailand (at least that I know of).

The piece on the loom appears to gradually fade due to the lighting. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it really did fade away as in the photo? Yes, it was a handsome piece- by far the nicest in terms of color that I saw there.

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http://www.tribaltrappings.com
http://tribaltrappings.blogspot.com/


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