Fashion Show
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Textile Travels

Although Ban Khwao is not an easy place to get to, it is well worth the effort. The sign over the highway welcoming us to Thailand’s famous silk weaving village is the wrong place to get off the bus. Walking, we eventually came to the town center and stopped at a fabric shop. The friendly shopkeeper called local motorcycle transportation for us. The drivers worked diligently trying to find people raising silk worms. We came to an open frame structure outside of town where a tiny woman sat among her trays of silk worms. She answered all our many questions then gave us a Buddhist good luck blessing. Her silk worms were raised in trays covered to keep the lizards from snacking on the worms. The demonstration center we went to next showed every step of the process. Silk cocoons are unwound without removing the outer hammock layer of silk making the textured yarn seen in scarves in many Thai markets. The silk thread is piled up in a basket as it is unreeled, then wound into skeins later. The metal frame loom was the first non-wooden loom I’ve seen.

Silk worms, ready to spin

Cocoons and silk worms

Mulberry trees

With bag of leaves

Unreeling cocoons in hot water

Silk is piled into bucket

Trays of cocoons

Winding weft

Tying mudmee (weft ikat) patterns

Winding bobbins for plaid cloth

Tying on

Weaving on metal frame loom

Painting designs on woven cloth