Friday, February 4, 2011

International Fabrics


I realize that I haven't even shared all the fabric treasures that I brought home from my Asian Adventure. I've started collecting native fabrics and handcrafts from my travels. Someday I'm going to make a travel quilt that showcases all the places we've been in textiles. Who knows when that will happen, though.

Our first stop was Thailand, so of course I had to come home with some Thai silk. I mean this stuff is the real deal and it can easily set you back $20 a yard or more. When we were in Chiang Mai we visited a Thai silk factory and saw the entire silk harvesting and making process in action. I knew that the silks here were priced for the tourists but even at tourist prices I was still getting a steal. I swept up three yards of high quality Thai silk for about $13 a yard. Then when I returned to Bangkok on our way home I stumbled upon a treasure trove of Thai silk in the back of a tiny fabric store after scouring the fabric district in Chinatown. The sweet lady who owned the shop sold me two meters of Thai silk for closer to $8 a meter! She also gave me her card and told me that she would happily ship to me in the US!


In Laos I was turned on by all the amazing Hmong textiles sold at the night market in Luang Prabang. We ended up bringing home a beautiful duvet cover and matching pillow cases. Everything was 100% stitched by hand and it was incredible to watch these women work.The quality of the fabric isn't the best but the hand stitching is amazing and I am in awe of the beauty of the piece.



I also picked up several meters of woven fabric in the local market. I thought the purple and the green would compliment the fabrics I picked up in Guatemala earlier last year.


Finally in Burma I found an amazing hand painted piece. I didn't know what I was going to do with this yardage when I bought it. I knew I couldn't cut it up. It is just too beautiful. I imagined that it could be used in it's entirety as backing fabric when I finally put the travel quilt together. Or I might even use it as a shawl. Then my sweet husband had a wonderful idea last night... We're going to use it for our chuppah in our family wedding that we're having later this month.




I need another trip so I can expand this growing fabric collection. Any favorite fabrics or textiles out there from any of your travels?


  1. How romantic. Your chuppah is beautiful. I have been studying the Jewish culture for the last several months. Mostly through the books written by the Thoenes. Such a history . . .

  2. Beautiful fabrics! I especially love the hand painted piece from Burma. Great idea to use it for your chuppah! After it is used for your ceremony, I might be tempted to stretch it across a canvas and hang it on the wall. It is a a work of art!

  3. What fabulous purchases! I love the duvet cover, and the handpainted piece from Burma is beyond amazing. Sadly, all of my international travels were before I was bitten by the sewing bug. : ) But I do have an incredible alpaca scarf from Peru.