Wednesday, 13 March 2013

THAI COLOUR

Thais have a wonderful sense of colour. Everywhere you look there are drifts of vivid golds, oranges, aquamarines and especially reds - in their traditional clothes, on boats, in markets and in the glorious temples.

A floating market, Ratchaburi
Embroidery on trouser bottoms from
the Akha tribes of North West Thailand
Among other things, I bought samples of traditional embroidery from the north of the country, around Chiang Rai. These are deliciously rich in colour and pattern and have a clever use of buttons for accent.

I know these will give me inspiration for design.

There was also a wonderful little girl's dress from the same area for sale in the weekend market in Bangkok. I didn't buy it - it was too expensive to justify - and my camera had run out of battery power so I couldn't even photograph it. I know it will haunt me. It was glorious and the trader told me it would have taken a year to complete - using weaving, dyeing and hand stitch.

And now I'm home, I'm reading a fascinating book by Angela Thompson. Page 170 has a photo of a very similar textile to the one I've shown here. The book is called Textiles of South-East Asia, and was published by Crowood Press. I recommend it to those who are interested.

Hopefully, I'll know more if I have the chance to return sometime.





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