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Sam-um Yodrak’s granddaughter weaves at Grandmother Sa-um’s loom in Baan Natang Village. Sa-um has been weaving and using natural dyes since she was a young girl, and she passed these skills to her granddaughter, P’Am, who is now 30 years old.…

Mae Somjai weaves at a loom under her house in Baan Natang Village. She does not weave with the intention of selling her silk, but if someone is interested, she said that she would set the price for two meters of hol-patterned, naturally dyed silk at…

Male and female genders are represented in a single loom in a way that evokes the tale of the silk-spitting woman told by P’Daenfa in “Leaves and Worms.” Some weavers believe that the warp roll, or the long flat board around which the warp…

Though the act of weaving is considered to be a skill learned only by females, males are involved in related tasks, such as the construction of looms. A husband or a father might build a loom for the women in his family to use, often decorating it…

Members of the Natang Women’s Weaving Collective observe as Sa-um Yodrak strains hot water that has just been pounded with lac. As the women watch, they discuss dyeing taboos. Dyeing on a Buddhist holy day is forbidden because the day should be…

This piece of silk from Ruen Mai Bai Mon shop features the hol pattern with an updated, pastel pink color scheme created with naturally dyed thread. Recognizing the appeal of “all-natural” products, the shop owners have devised marketing…

The process of natural dyeing has not remained entirely “natural” due to the helpful properties of certain modern chemicals. Bleach is used regularly to remove the natural yellow color of raw silk. Alum, a chemical compound which does occur…

This rainbow of threads colored with natural dyes is the work of Surachote Tamcharoen. Ajaan Surachote is from Pathum Thani Province but moved to Surin after marrying Paruhat, a woman from Baan Natang Village. Paruhat’s grandmother taught them…

This woman makes dye from khrang (ครั่ง) outside of her house. As soon as she noticed two unknown women approaching, she began emptying the finished dye from the mortar and stopped pounding the remaining lac. She later explained that she…

The silvery blue stripes that run through the hol pattern are created with natural dye made from indigo, or khram (คราม). Indigofera tinctoria plants thrive in Surin and many locals tend gardens of indigo to use for dyeing. Once indigo dye…