Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clothing of Hmong-1

A tiny needle, strands of bright thread, lengths of vari-colored cloth, and the genius of a Hmong woman-these are the ingredients of some of the most exquisite needlework to be found anywhere. Throughout their long history, Homong women have devoted their artistic skill and industry to the development of an amazing variety of techniques using needle and thread. They adorn the clothing of every member of the family, from the smallest baby to the oldest grandparents. Even the corpses are richly endowed with embroideries to take to the next world.

Nowadays much of the cloth used is purchased from itinerant traders or in the marketplace, but traditionally it all had to be produced within the Hmong household. Even today many women prefer to weave their own homespun hemp or cotton cloth for much of the clothing worn by the family, using looms that combine back-strap and foot-treadle techniques. The weaver sits on a bench with one end of the loom attached to a belt. She controls the tension with her back, while shifting the warp threads with foot treadles.

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