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Local Khmer silks in Surin can often be identified by their deep red hues. If the color is natural, it is most likely derived from khrang (ครั่ง), or the resinous, scarlet-colored secretions of a number of species of insects, including the…

Many plants and trees can be used to make yellow dye, and among Khmer weavers in Surin, bark from the khae (เข) tree; the Garcinia dulcis plant, or pra hoht (Khmer: ประโหด, Thai: มะพูด); and khanun, or the jackfruit tree…

Boxes of chemical dye and skeins of chemically dyed thread are sold in shops across Surin. Color names are evocative and often food-themed; examples include “shrimp paste,” “ovaltine,” “pig’s blood,” “duck’s head green,”…

The Thai-Chinese family that owns Ruen Mai Bai Mon shop (เรือนไหมใบหม่อน) has been working in the silk business in Surin for over 30 years. They charge higher prices for their products so that the local people who they…

This silk shop, Nong Ying Silk (ร้านผ้าไหมน้องหญิง), was founded by a Thai-Chinese family over 30 years ago. Most silk shops in Surin Town are owned by Thai-Chinese families who obtain their goods through…

Before the silk can be dyed, the raw filaments must be spun and reeled to achieve uniform thread and to remove small nubs of silk. At the Queen Sirikit Sericulture Center, this woman demonstrates reeling the thread onto an ak (อัก).

This map was created by the Queen Sirikit Sericulture Center and matches each sub-district or tambon (ตำบล) of Surin with the pattern its weavers are most known for producing. While exemplifying the center’s scientific approach through its…

This pattern is named laai am prom (ลายอัมปรม) and it is one of the few double ikat (ikat on both the warp and weft threads) patterns woven in Thailand. Double ikat silks are only found among Khmer communities in Surin, Sisaket, and…

Ajaan Surachote Tamcharoen, who is also featured in the “Threads and Dyes” section, is the leader of a natural dye and mat mee weaving network in Baan Natang Village. Surachote has divided up stages in the mat mee and weaving process among the…

The pieces of cloth created by Ajaan Wiratham Trakulngoenthai’s weaving workshop in Baan Tha Sawang Village display ancient royal patterns, many of which were formerly only printed or painted onto silk due to intricacies that could not be captured…