4 Examples of Traditional Thai Fabric Patterns

Last updated: 2019-02-05  |  817 จำนวนผู้เข้าชม  | 

4 Examples of Traditional Thai Fabric Patterns

Mat Mee
Mat mee patterned silk is made from a specific kind of dying process.

To start, the weavers string the silk across a frame that is the width of the finished fabric. They then tie plastic ribbon or banana plant skin around each individual thread in the desired design, and then dip the silk in dye, which is repelled by the plastic or banana skin.

The process can be repeated several times, making the design increasingly intricate. One the tying and dying has been completed, the silk thread is then used to weave the finished piece of silk.

Traditionally, the patterns in the silk were inspired by things in the natural world surrounding the weavers, such as the heads of rice, snakes, flowers, birds and leaves though today many weavers are updating this traditional process with more modern designs.  Mat mee is most commonly seen in the weaving of Isaan, or northeastern Thailand.

Yok Dork
Another kind of pattern that is woven in Thai silk is called yok dork.

It is a kind of brocade and often feature an all-over pattern of flowers. My research says that this style gained popularity during the reign of King Rama VI (the king after King Chulalongkhorn).

I have seen some sources say that it is unique to the Lamphun area, a province in the north near Chiang Mai, but also that it is possible to see it being made in Surin, a province in Isaan.

The looms used to create yok dork use pedals that are up to 45 feet big and it can take months to finish a piece.


This one is slightly different from the other two patterns I described here because it is usually woven with cotton. 

Kidt is a diamond brocade pattern that usually uses just two colors. Most of the examples that I saw of it in Ban Na Kha, Udon Thai used white and black or a dark blue. I did see one that was gold and green, but the patterns are much more striking with the high contrasting colors.

I’m not sure of the history of this kind of pattern, but it’s intricacies are stunning.

Printed Cotton Patterns
Those are the more traditional and woven patterns that are on fabrics, but there are some patterns that are less labor intensive and less formal.

There is a lot of cotton fabrics that are printed with flowers and animals and bright colors or diamond patterns. You can tell that they are somewhat inspired by traditional silk patterns, but with the ease of printing a design on a kind of muslin, have taken on their own qualities.


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