Pha tin chok is a pha sin (tube skirt) that sews together three separate bands, namely the hua (waist band), the tua (central band) and the tin (hem band). The latter is woven with the chok technique and, thus, the name tin chok for this special hem band with a beautiful design. Tin chok designs include lantern, dipping bowl, nam ton, naga, horse, elephant, chicken, snake, herringbone, chan flower and different variation of edible ferns (phak kut or diplazium esculentum). One major production base that has continued to preserve its local uniqueness is Mae Chaem district in Chiang Mai.
Chok is a technique that combines weaving and embroidering at the same time.
Supplementary weft is added discontinuously across the width of the textile. Original Mae Chaem tin chok is a legacy from the Tai Yuan. Cotton with natural dye is the preferred yarn for the chok technique. Black warp offers space for special chok designs. One distinct characteristic of Mae Chaem tin chok textiles is that they can be worn on both sides since weavers apply the chok technique from the back of the cloth, allowing for neat tying of the supplementary weft and beautiful, tight and similar designs on both the front and the back.
The beauty of tin chok not only showcases the craftsmanship of weavers but also the tradition of Nortnern Tai and Lao women who wear pha sin with tin chok on different occasions, such as temple visits and weddings. A piece of textile also shows the readiness of a lady for marriage.
From Songsak P (2008). Cultural Heritage of Tai Lue Textiles.