Central-Style Fabrics

Many ethnic people in the Central Plains were immigrants from Laos. Some were from the northern city of Chiang Saen. They have retained their ethnic culture in fabric making and costume. Most of them make cotton robes for home use, and silk robes for temple visits or for auspicious occasions. Chiang Saen descendants in Uttaradit, Saraburi, and Ratchaburi, for example, still preserve their northern cultural heritage in dressing style. They still make intricate embroidered borders for robes called “tinjok.” The Thai Song Dam in Khao Yoi, Phetchaburi, for instance, still weave and wear their traditional costume made from cotton fabric: a black or dark blue robe with red stripes, and a blouse of the same color. If they are about to go to the temple, a decorative piece of cloth will be placed on their shoulders. Many other ethnic groups maintain their traditional costume in the similar way.

The Central style of clothing varied from one ethnic culture to another. In general, however, they still dressed conservatively. The changes came in the reign of Rama V when imported western outfits and dressing style soon replaced the Siamese traditional attire in the Central Region.

A full-size robe with “tinjok” border.

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