The Unexpected Feeling Episode 9: Natural Inspiration
‘Khit pattern’ fabric is a signature product of Ban Si Than in the Northeastern Thai province of Yasothon. This local handicraft is a clear reflection of the exquisiteness of Thai folk art. The process of making one piece of gracefully patterned fabric requires the craftsman’s patience and expertise in creating intricate motifs. To begin with, the artisan needs to make a natural dye from good quality bark. But the most challenging parts are the outlining and shaping of the motifs to be prominent, shiny reliefs on the fabric’s surface.
In the old days, local craftsmen usually made pillow cases from Khit pattern fabric. Khit patterns were originally classified into three major design – animals, flowers, and appliances – each of which was inspired by surrounding nature. At present, local craftsmen still weave Khit pattern fabric from natural fibrous materials, conserve the traditional dyeing technique, and colour the fabric with dyes made from locally available bark.
It is because of this delicate process that Khit pattern fabric has remained timelessly charming. Khit pattern pillow cases of Ban Si Than of Yasothon province also generate substantial income for the locals. Better still, this exquisite fabric can be converted into a range of other products; such as, bags, vases, and tablecloths. This handwoven fabric is not only a product in which the local people take pride, but also a reflection of the evolution of traditional Thai folk wisdom.
Location: Ban Si Than, Yasothon, Thailand