A Thai woman sitting on the loom, weaving sophisticated brocade patterns is a scene you will find familiar when coming to any village in Northwestern Vietnam. At the resort, you can see this activity in the more-than-50-year-old stilt house, which has now become a museum space preserving Mai Chau culture. Listen to the stories threaded through the loom and learn about Thai brocade weaving at Avana Retreat!

Brocade weaving is a signature activity for Thai women

The story of brocade weaving

Brocade motifs are considered the soul of mountain area culture. Each ethnic group has its own distinctive patterns and colors that make a difference. Among them, Thai brocade weaving stands out with its unique color and creativity.

To weave with perfection, Thai women have to gain experience through a process of labor and creativity

Since ancient times, girls aged 8-9 years old have learned the basics of brocade weaving from their mothers and grandmothers. A girl is regarded as an adult after she has mastered all those skills and is able to craft their own products.

The Thai people have a saying "Girls know how to weave, boys know how to fish". Girls who can't weave or embroider will be scoffed at and considered inferior and talentless. But so far, this concept has gradually subsided when modern practices are integrated.

Thai women skillfully make brocade fabrics full of aesthetic and dedication

Thai people have two types of weaving: plain weaving and pattern weaving. The patterns are inspired by the labor process of the people, so each cloth is a vivid picture reflecting daily life, formed by the memories and imagination of the weavers. The combination of colors creates a brocade with the essence of heaven and earth. The Thai woman has skillfully sent her heart through the loom, through each delicate embroidery line.

Preserving Thai brocade weaving 

Along with the development of modern society, brocade weaving is becoming extinct in many villages. Brocade costumes are being forgotten over time due to fast fashion, which prefers convenience rather than appreciating the true craftsmanship of clothing. However, in Hoa Binh, Son La, Thanh Hoa, etc., this beautiful culture is still preserved and passed on to the next generations.

Brocade weaving - a traditional cultural beauty of the Thai people that have been passed down through generations 

Thai brocade weaving represents a woman's ingenuity, meticulousness, and creative passion. To make a satisfactory brocade product, Thai women handle all stages on their own, from preparing raw materials, spinning, dyeing, weaving and embroidering patterns.

Each Thai woman has a decorative art, expressing her own style through each piece 

Local females manufacture their own blankets, beds, gowns, and pieu scarves (a traditional towel). Brocade crafts are also used as a gift at weddings, as funeral goods for the deceased, or as sacrifices to the gods in Xen Ban, and Xen Muong rituals.

The weaving art at Avana Retreat

The long-standing traditions of the Thai people in particular and the people of the Northwest, in general, are something that Avana Retreat hopes to preserve in addition to bringing sustainability to nature protection. Therefore, at our Stilt House Museum, you will be able to witness the brocade weaving process from Thai artisans with many years of experience.

Meticulous fabric is woven on the stilt house at Avana Retreat

Not only is it a measure of women's ingenuity and talent, but Thai brocade weaving is also a symbol of traditional culture that Avana Retreat sincerely wishes to prize, present and preserve.