Pha Phrae Wa (khit mixed with chok)

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Country: Thailand
khit mixed with chok
khit mixed with chok

Pha phrae wa (khit mixed with chok) is a shoulder scarf that Phu Tai people wear on their shoulders similar to a sabai. It combines the weaving of an ordinary red cloth with khit and chok techniques to create designs. The cloth is about one metre wide and four metres long. An important production base is Kalasin province. Pha phrae wa is woven with both silk warp and weft. Phu Tai weavers use a little finger to chok (pull) the yarn while Tai Phuan weavers use a porcupine quill.

Natural dyes are preferred, especially red dye from lac for the base colour. Each chok design reflects the belief system of the Tai Phuan. For example, the naga design alludes to their ancestry and dok kaew to abundance of life and virtue. Each cloth consists of more than ten designs, categorized into three groups. Main designs (lai lak) are important designs and large in size.

Intervening or strip designs (lai kan) are the strips that go between two main designs. Hem designs (lai cho plai choeng) are located on the sides of the cloth connected to the intervening designs and marking the beginning and the end of a cloth. Both Phu Tai men and women use pha phrae wa on special and auspicious occasions, such as the Bun Bang Fai Festival and weddings, worn as a waist band for men and a shoulder scarf for women.

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