Handmade textiles of Laos
As I wrote in my previous article, when I lived in Laos I encountered beautiful handmade textiles. They could be made of silk, cotton or mix of both.
Laos is a multi-tribe society with 49 different ethnic minority groups (approved by the Lao government) with 160 ethnic sub-groups. Different ethnic minority groups have different methods of making their own textiles, which means a lot of variety!
About half the population belongs to the Lao ethnic group, which has traditional garment called Pha Biang (shawl for upper body) & Sin (wrap-style skirt) for women. Sin skirt was what many women often in daily life when I lived there. It was amazing to know that they sometimes spent a few month of their salary to buy most intricate designed silk Sin skirt!
Although in recent years, chemical dye is getting more popular as it is much easier to color, the natural dye is still widely used. The colors come from things like marigold flowers, jack fruit heart wood, onion skin, coconut shells to name a few.
In another article, I will talk about the different kind of weaving.