Weaving textile art
This month, our web-shop promotion highlights our hand-woven textile art pieces, which we call wall hangings.
The wall hangings are inspired by the Thai "Pha tung", which are woven, brightly coloured banners that often hang in temple grounds on religious or festive occasions. Our wall hangings, however, are a contemporary interpretation of this art form and designed for modern interiors.
(Pha tung, hanging in the grounds of a Chiang Mai wat, or temple)
The process of weaving a wall hanging involves many steps and requires the contribution and collaboration of several people. This means that finishing the first wall hanging in a new colour-way can take two or three weeks.
During the initial design process, we make a selection of yarns. While the warp is usually cotton, the weft is composed of a blend of cotton, silk and viscose yarns, which adds texture and lustre to the textile. We often hand-dye small batches of silk thread to get the exact shade we want.
(Selection of yarns and design process before weaving begins)
Another component of the wall hangings are the decorative bamboo inserts. These are hand-whittled to the correct length, polished, and are then inserted into the warp during the weaving process, providing structure and balance to the piece. Each wall hanging also includes two teakwood rods with decorative finials.
(Whittling the bamboo sticks that are used as decorative inserts)
The pattern motifs used in the wall hangings are the same as in our other home decor textiles, but repeated or highlighted in different ways. A current favourite is the intricate "Lao Naga" pattern, which features in several of our wall hangings. Note that the wall hangings are woven with the reverse side of the textile facing up, which can be a challenge during both the design and weaving process.
(The "Blue Naga" wall hanging, woven by the talented Sudah)
All of our wall hangings are limited edition, which means that only a few pieces in the same colour-way are woven on each warp. Sometimes even these pieces may be different for practical reasons, such as yarn substitutions when small-batch, hand-dyed yarns run out.
("Temple" (M) wall hanging)
This means that our wall hangings are constantly evolving and it also means that when you hang a Sop Moei Arts wall hanging on your wall, each piece is the result of a collaborative effort and unique in its own subtle way.