Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani

Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani

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TourismThailand, 26 ต.ค. 2023
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Donning Thai traditional textiles isn't just for the old-fashioned crowd anymore! Nowadays, it's all the rage among young Thais who rock these outfits as part of their everyday casual style, especially when they're out exploring the world. These fabrics have become a cultural sensation, a true Soft Power, and a traveler's must-have. Join the hunt for unique textiles in northeastern Thailand's Khon Kaen and Udon Thani provinces!

Thailand's northeastern region always brings our thoughts towards traditions, culture, and beliefs seamlessly woven into daily life. A time-honored tradition deeply rooted in the northeast is the art of 'weaving.' Originating as a pastime during breaks from farming and harvesting, weaving has evolved into a beloved household practice. Today, handwoven fabrics are akin to local treasures, making them a top attraction for travelers eager to explore this artistic heritage.

The first destination in the quest for exquisite local fabrics is the Mud-mee Silk Weaving Community Enterprise in Ban Hua Fai Village, Khon Kaen province. This renowned establishment is celebrated for its Mud-mee or ikat silk, featuring the captivating 'Khaen Kaen Khoon' pattern. Mud-mee, also known as 'Matmi,' derives its name from the Thai term for 'tied threads' and has been a cherished local craft in the northeastern region for centuries. What sets Mud-mee at Hua Fai Village apart is the remarkable collaboration between local artisans and Khon Kaen province in the design of the distinctive 'Khaen Kaen Khoon' pattern, taking fabric weaving to new heights.

Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani
Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani
Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani

The pattern consists of seven motifs that embody the identity of Khon Kaen. For example, the 'Khaen' motif, inspired by the Isan bamboo mouth organ, symbolizes prosperity and liveliness. The 'Dok Koon' motif, inspired by the Golden Shower Tree flower, represents Khon Kaen's provincial flower. Additionally, the 'Pan Bai Sri' motif, inspired by a decorative banana-leaf cone used to contain offerings to deities and as tokens in rituals and religious ceremonies, signifies the Phuk Siew or Friendship Making ceremony, which is all about extending a warm welcome to guests and fostering friendships.

Brahmanism in paying respect to the sacred Gods for Thai people. 

Khon Kaen is renowned for its longstanding tradition of cultivating mulberry trees for silkworm rearing, establishing itself as a significant source of silk threads in the northeastern region. The city holds the prestigious title of "World Craft City for Mud-mee Silk" bestowed by the World Crafts Council. It's no surprise that Mud-mee silk has gained recognition and popularity. No Khon Kaen trip would be complete without adding a touch of style with those fashionable Mud-mee silk outfits and striking your best pose.

The Mud-mee Silk Weaving Community Enterprise is situated in Ban Hua Fai Village, Po Daeng Subdistrict, Chonnabot District, Khon Kaen. You can contact them at 08-3656-5644 or 08-1729-6025 (Ms. Joom).

Another remarkable textile that reflects the local identity is the 'Pha Mee Khit Yom Si Dok Bua' or Waterlily tie-dye Mud-mee silk with the Khit weaving technique from the Ban Non Kok Ancient Weaving Group in Udon Thani province. This fabric symbolizes the province's identity, known for its popular tourist attraction, the Sea of Red Waterlily. During January and February, waterlily flowers bloom and transform Nong Han Lake into a sea of fuchsia red.

Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani

The villagers have ingeniously used red waterlily flowers to dye their fabrics, establishing a distinctive community identity. Fresh waterlily flowers produce pink or purple hues, while dried waterlily flowers yield golden brown, and dried waterlily stems result in silver-gray shades. These natural colors are not only beautiful but also environmentally friendly and long-lasting, making them a favorite choice among women.

The vibrant Nong Kok Village community has come up with some exciting tourism programs. Travelers can start their day by offering alms to monks adorned with beautiful waterlily flowers. Then, hop into a rowboat and embark on an adventure to collect these exquisite blooms themselves. For the artistic souls, there's a thrilling workshop where participants can dive into the art of waterlily flower dyeing. It's safe to say these activities are a perfect fit for ladies of all ages seeking a dash of adventure and creativity.

The 'Ban Non Kok Ancient Weaving Group' is located in Nong Na Kham Subdistrict, Muang Udon Thani, Udon Thani province. You can contact them at 09-3547-8255 (Mr. Apichat Poolbuakai).

Fashionable Finds in Northeastern Thai: Khon Kaen - Udon Thani

You can purchase 'Khaen Kaen Khoon' Mud-mee silk and 'Pha Mee Khit Yom Si Dok Bua' at local shops in the area. Don't be shy—adorn yourself in these unique, fashionable silks and strike a pose with the village as your backdrop. Immerse yourself in the local culture and the profound connection between people and these woven fabrics.

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