Adorning walls Thai style

Adorning walls Thai style

Adorning walls Thai style

If you are on a tour of Thailand and are interested in art, you have more than one reason to cheer. An art lover’s day begins touring the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market at Ratchaburi where one is introduced to the exotic world of Thai art.

Wall hangings are versatile pieces of art and make excellent gift pieces, mementoes and perfect decor items. Indigenous cloth makes sound wall hangings. If you get to shop at the floating market, you will inevitably come across stunning wall hangings that comprise hand-painted fabric works, mostly on black cloth. These wall hangings are made on plush velvet or silk. Shoppers are spoilt for choice as the astounding range of wall hangings on display come at a great bargain.

One of the most ancient and functional forms of decorative art has been fabric design that began way back in 3000 BC. This reflects the intricate craftsmanship of Thai artisans. The new generations of craftsmen in Thailand have preserved the skills and forms of the older generation and craft contemporary, stylish designs that reflect Thai heritage.

Fabric painting is usually done by hand and is highly popular on wall hangings, bed linen and table cloth. Fabric painting is done in a wide range of patterns in different colours to liven up the décor of the room. The patterns usually comprise floral, geometric and religious motifs. Floral designs are quite popular on wall hangings. Craftsmen make use of bright colours to make the objects prominent.

Wax-resistant technique used for dyeing the fabric is an age-old process to make wall hangings. The dyeing industry continues to thrive in Philippines and Thailand. The fabric is dyed with a coloured substance that possesses an affinity to the substrate of the fabric. Vegetable dyes extracted from saffron, turmeric, madder, indigo and log wood are predominantly used in the process.

At the floating market, tourists will be treated to a wide range of exquisitely-crafted wall hangings mounted on framework. It is not uncommon to sight a herd of jumbos on Thai wall hangings as elephants are considered good luck charms in Thailand. According to Thai folklore, each area of a home governs certain aspects of our life and placing a symbol of elephant in any corner of the room activates the positive energy of that particular area.

Wall hangings illustrating jumbo herds in the wild will set you back by Rs 2,000. One can look for the imagery of Thai countryside with fishermen plying their boats on moonlit night, or an illustration of Thai lifestyle on water banks.

Besides the Floating Market at Ratchaburi, handmade wall hangings are also crafted and displayed at Chiang Mai Craft Centre.
Swaati Chaudhury

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