Pattern Story

Thai people often say that “Hold hands down, then see the cloud, raised hands to see flowers “. Brocade making is a very important culture, attached to the Thai from birth, grow up until the return to the “sky”. Each brocade starts with cotton, silkworms, spinning, natural dyeing, weaving and embroidery. It is a wholehearted and creative workflow process. The talents of Thai women are most visible in the stage of creating patterns on fabrics. It seems to be a sacred work that has been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. However, as life becomes more modern, and cultural integration goes to every Thai village, traditional profession are gradually being lost. Many patterns have been lost or only a few older artisans can replicate, and no young artisan nearby want to continue the traditional profession.

The natural world is reflected on various patterns. They are rhombus, flower, sun, birds, elephants, deer, tigers or horseman which are expressed in a symbolic, simplified way. The motifs are often symmetrical, reflecting the conception of harmony, the eternal life, the cosmic conception, the yin and yang philosophy, the earth and the universe … the many motifs appear on the skirts, scarves and Thai ancient quilts.

Ms. Sam Thi Bich, head of Hoa Tien Brocade Cooperative, said: “In the past, there were no weather forecasts so people considered animals such as dragonflies or ducks flying low, flying high became an early forecast of rain, sun, storm and flood for the people. Thus, the Thai embroidered the animals’ motifs to their gratitude. Either dragging dragons or elephants into decorative motifs into the blanket or skirt, because Thai people believe these animals bring strength to human beings. The pattern is very important to the Thai people, because it consists of both strength and love, both joyful and happy, it is in the brocade.”