Within this month, there are several events and exhibitions held in celebration of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit 7 Cycle Birthday. Including this one, The Glorious Beauty of Textiles, Her Majesty the Queen 84th Birthday Celebration, the temporary exhibition shown at Central Chidlom between 5-17 August 2016.
The exhibition divided into 7 zones, A-G. Zone A to zone E are allowed to take photograph while zone F exhibits the royal wardrobe of Her Majesty the Queen and it strictly prohibits. The last zone, Zone F, located bookshop and DIY workshop.
Zone A The Glorious Beauty of Texiles
Showing the origin of this exhibition and the photographs of textile process.
I couldn’t catch the name of the zone but this was the most interesting zone for me, most interactive one. Within this room, there’re stories of textiles from different regions. You can look up those useful information by picking the blocks of each area and put them in front of the screen. Here you can spend time as long as you wanted to get educated. Some information like in Northern of Thailand, there are Hill Tribe textiles or Central region has a very famous Pha Jok from Ratchaburi Province are ready for your discovery.
Zone C Embroidering Costumes for the Royal Khon Performances
According to Her Majesty the Queen’s command, a new set of costumes for Royal Khon Performances had been created. Prior the making process, the traditional style of clothing in the royal court in the past has been studied. Later artisans and craftspeople had put their effort in making the costumes more beautiful and suitable for modern staging.
Zone D Southern Hand Embroidery
The embroidery with its delicate tight needlework was renowned for centuries as a fine handicraft of the royal court. Some embroidered textiles were reserved for special occasions while others were used to indicate the rank and position of the person wearing them. With great concentration and perseverance, the artisans took colored silk threads to create intricate scenes of complex tones of light and shadows.
When Their Majesties the King and Queen made regular visits to Muslim communities in the South, Her Majesty noticed the women covered their heads with beautifully embroidered hijab. She believed they could build upon their existing skills to create embroidery to market for supplementary incomes. She had her staff teach the embroidery techniques from the inner court to women in the South, and market their handiwork through the SUPPORT Foundation.
(All information I’ve copied from the sign in exhibition room.)
Zone E Hill Tribe Textils
Since I just visited ‘Crafts from the Hands of the Hills… To the Hands of The Queen’ exhibition. I feel no guilty not to look at this section carefully but then I still took some photographs and I found some information written here are slightly different from former exhibition. Here concentrates more on how each tribe related to their embroidered textiles.
I’ll put some short information of each tribe here just in case anyone interests.
Karen women are renowned for their weaving. Dyes were traditionally from plants and minerals but are now bought, though people tend to continue using traditional colours. Each sup-group has its unique decorative and symbolic patterns in its embroidery.
Lisu have some of the brightest and most colourful clothes of all the northern Thai ethnic groups, said to reflect their bravery and free spirit. Basic patterns consist of colourful cloth strips mixed with patches. Although the methods are not complicated, they are placed in a harmonious mix, reflecting each craftperson’s individual creativity.
Their clothes are filled with intricate embroidery, some sewn in and the rest sewn onto the skirts, blouses, and headdresses of the women and on the jackets and waist-clothes of the men. The Hmong believe they should wear new clothes for the New Year, so Hmong begin new embroidery just after the New Year festival in preparation for the next New Year celebrations.
Akha women start spinning cotton threads from age 6-7. In traditional households the women will spin threads whenever their hands are free from other chores, and compete to see who is the fastest spinner of the day. The cloth is then dyed in indigo several times over almost a month to obtain the dark blue that is the base color of their clothing.
All sup-groups decorate their clothes with beautifully colourful embroidered strips of cloth. Lahu men mostly wear black baggy pants, shirts, and jackets, with colourful embroidery sewn into or colourful embroidered strips sewn onto the bottoms of the pants and on the hems and cuffs of the jackets.
Yao women sew and embroider their clothes, mostly black based with extensive red, yellow, blue, green and white decoration. Traditional embroidery used a style of simple stitches from the back, with the entire pattern evident only when the texiles is flipped. However, cross-stitch embroidery has become popular over the past 50-60 years.