“Sukhothai Woven Fabric”: Weaving a Local Knowledge into Unique Handicrafts
Visit Had Siao Handicraft Center in Si Satchanalai district of Sukhothai province and delve into an origin of Teen Jok woven fabric, a local style woven textile which has beautiful delicate details. Later on, stop by some other interesting woven fabric centers to be fascinated by local fine craftsmanship.
"A marvelous world’s heritage, a birthplace of Thai alphabets and Loy Krathong festival, be amazed by Teen Jok woven fabric and ancient celadons, pay respect to King Ramkhamhaeng, and experience the first capital of Thailand." This is a motto of Sukhothai province which utterly represents its uniqueness and identities and "Teen Jok woven fabric" also receives a mention.
It is very common in Thailand to have a native weaving or woven fabric that reflects a local knowledge of each region. Sukhothai province, similarly, has various types of traditional woven textiles, namely Teen Jok woven sarong, mud-soaked fabric, and elephant-patterned loincloth, which display local ways of life of each community. These textiles are made with traditional techniques and procedures that have been passing on from generations to generations, making them masterpiece products of Sukhothai. They also bring about a creative craft tourism which allows visitors to hand-weave and experience first-hand authentic local expertise and high artisanship.
Let’s get to know more about Teen Jok woven fabric, an important and outstanding craft of Sukhothai.
Getting to Know Teen Jok Woven Fabric
If talking about Sukhothai’s handicrafts, many will think about "Teen Jok woven fabric" or "Teen Jok woven sarong" which belongs to Thai Phuen ethic group in Ban Had Siao, Sukhothai.
In 1844, during the reign of King Rama III, Phuen ethic group had immigrated to Thailand from a city of Phuen in Chiang Kwang district of Lao People’s Democratic Republic. They had brought with them their local cultures and traditions such as a local language and delicate weaving workmanship.
Traditionally, there are two types of sarongs worn by Thai Phuen women. The first one is a daily sarong for everyday outfits and it is designed to be long-lasting and comfortably worn. Another type is a beautiful sarong for special occasions. Each piece of sarong cloth is divided into 3 parts. The upper part is called "hua sinh" which is customized to perfectly suit a wearer’s height. The middle part or "tua sinh" is the biggest part of the cloth and the lower part which is called "teen sinh" is the part made with different techniques and often has intricate and detailed patterns. The technique that is called "jok" means using a sharp-pointed object such as a porcupine quill to lift a thread during the weaving process until it forms beautiful patterns, hence, it is named "Teen Jok". Teen Jok fabric from Ban Had Siao is woven with exquisite traditional style patterns which remarkably depict the local ways of life in Sukhothai.
Additionally, there are other two types of Sukhothai traditional fabric:
Mud-soaked fabric is originated by a local inventiveness and keen eye. Local farmers have noticed that parts of their clothes that are soaked in mud have a softer texture than other parts. Thus, they have come up with an idea to soak their cloths in mud to soften the fibers and this has become a uniqueness of Ban Natonchan community in Si Satchanalai district. Similar to Teen Jok fabric, the mud-soaked cloth is woven with fascinating traditional patterns and dyed with natural earth-tone colors. This is a good way to add values to an ordinary piece of cloth. Apart from being made into fabric and clothes, the mud-soaked cloth can also be made into a variety of objects e.g. bags and scarves to name a few.
Elephant and horse-patterned loincloth is one of the income-generating textile products of Ban Had Siao community which reflects a profound connection between the local people and these two types of animals. In the past, elephants and horses were important parts in transportations and labor jobs and there were fabric woven in elephant and horse motifs. Nowadays, however, elephant and horse-patterned cloths are made into several fabric merchandises e.g. blankets, handkerchiefs, fabric used in special ceremonies, and shoulder bags with distinctive colors and designs.
Creative Activities for Craft Tourism
One of the activities in the creative tourism arranged by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA is to learn about a process of weaving Sukhothai traditional fabric. With the help and support from DASTA (office 4), the local people are fully equipped in producing and developing their traditional fabric into a number of different products, namely clothes, bags, shoulder bags, mattresses, blankets, shawls, etc. Below are handicraft and fabric centers you can visit and support their handmade products:
Teen Jok woven fabric: Had Siao Handicraft Center (Suntaree Phathai)
Address: 329 Moo 9, Nong Aor, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai
Facebook: สุนทรีผ้าไทย ศูนย์หัตถกรรมพื้นบ้านโบราณหาดเสี้ยว
Mud-soaked fabric: Ban Natonchan Mud-Soaked Fabric Center
Address: Moo 5, Ban Tuek, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai
Facebook: ผ้าลายขิด หมักโคลนบ้านนาต้นจั่น จ.สุโขทัย
Traditional woven and natural-dyed fabric: Wiang Chai Farmer Group
Address: Moo 2, Ban Mae Rak, Pa Ngiew, Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai
Tel: Pa Ngiew Subdistrict Administrative Organization (SAO) 0 5563 0064, 08 9272 5228, 08 9281 5689
Yok Dok woven fabric: Ban Sok Muang Traditional Woven Fabric Center
Address: 514 Moo 12, Ban Sok Muang, Thung Saliam, Thung Saliam, Sukhothai
Traditional woven fabric (woven fabric with alphabet motifs, sarongs, loincloths, and blankets): Ban Rai Woven Fabric Center
Address: 76 Moo 5 (Ban Rai Tai), Ban Rai, Sri Samrong, Sukhothai
Tel: 0 5568 5308