A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The vocabulary used to describe crafts and textiles is rich, varied, specialized and often unfamiliar. This glossary has been conceived as a guide whose purpose is to provide as introductory survey over this very wide field. The explanation and or definition of the most commonly used terms are intended to furnish a preliminary insight into the subject in an attempt to facilitate a deeper understanding of this very complex and vast subject.

When combined with the Bibliography section it seeks to serve as a guide for further study.

Note:

1.

We will be adding on and updating this list regularly.

2.

Italicised terms within the text are defined further within the Glossary.

3.

Vernacular terms have been listed in red

4.

Do e-mail us if there are any terms that you need defined, or if there are any terms that you are able to define for us.

This section can be searched by craft/keywords.

 

Back strap tension loom

(Also, Back tension loom, Body tension loom) – A two bar frameless loom with back strap belt or wooden yoke passing around the weaver’s back and secured to the breast beam. The weaver controls the tension of the warp yarns by leaning forwards or backwards against the strap, while at the other end of the warp, another beam, known as the warp beam, is held secure.

Batik

A resist dyeing process in which a substance such as hot wax or rice paste is applied to the surface of the fabric as a resist to dyes to form undyed areas of pattern. The resist is removed by boiling, melting or scraping after dyeing.

 

Chai Lao

Japanese programme to update Lao silk textiles to meet standards for the Japanese market and includes testing of dyes, consumer labeling and product design.

Chaw faa

Sky clusters

Cheeng

Cymbals

Continuous supplementary weft

Supplementary weft patterning in which the ornamental weft threads are carried back and forth across the full width of the cloth

 

Daav daav

Bamboo humming fork

Deet Fai

Carding. Fibres are fluffed out and cleaned further.

Discontinuous supplementary weft

Supplementary weft weaving in which extra weft threads are worked back and forth across limited areas of warp to shape pattern units.

 

Eeow Fai

Ginning. Raw cotton is rolled between two wooden cylinder to refine it and remove all seeds from the fibre

 

Foot-braced Loom

A two bar frameless loom, with one bar secured to a back strap for controlling tension and the other bar braced against the weaver’s feet. A type of back strap tension loom

Frame Loom

A type of non mechanical loom in which a wooden frame permits the tension on the warp threads to be regulated by the beams without the need for the back strap operation of the earlier types of loom

 

Groong wwt

Friction Earth Drum

 

Heua Fai

Banana boats used during Lao festivals.

Ho kong

Drum tower

Ho rakhang

Bell tower

Ho tai

Library

 

Ikat

The resist dye technique in which designs are reversed in warp or weft yarns by the tying of small bundles of yarn with palm leaf strips or similar materials to prevent the penetration of dye. For each colour additional tying or partial removal of the bindings is required. After the last dyeing, all the bindings are removed and the yarns are ready for weaving.

 

Kammu

House

Kang

Province

Ketpisade

Zone

Kha Fai

The process of sizing or starching of thread. This process is used to make the thread less fluffy. It stops the thread from breaking easily while being used for weaving.

Khan

Silver stem bowls

Khen Fai

The process of spinning used on the making of refined cotton thread

Khene

Small piped instrument

Khlui

A type of bamboo flute

Khon Sai Feua

The process of setting the warp threads. Before the threads are set on the loom, they are set on a frame called a feua, hence the name for the process.

Kit

The term applied to continuous supplementary weft in northern Thailand and Laos

Kuak Fai

The process of winding the thread onto a wheel to be bundled for storage or to be used immediately.

Kumpang Nakon

Municipality

Kuti

Living quarters

 

Lamet

Village

Lao / Laos /Lao PDR

Used interchangeably

Lor Fai

Rolling. The fluffed out fibres are rolled out by hand, to be made ready for use.

 

Maw lam

Repartee

 

Nyom Fai

The dying of cotton thread before it is used for weaving any textiles.

 

Oh Tum

Silver bowls

 

Pha Lak Pha Lam

Dance drama based on the Hindu Ramayana epic

Phi

Spirits

Pi

Reed pipes

Pia Fai

The process of winding in the making of cotton thread.

 

Rbaang

Button-gongs

 

Saa

The bark of a mulberry tree

Sim

Main building in a Wat compound and contains an important Buddha image

Sin / Sinh

Traditional skirt worn by women

Songthaews

Songthaews are pick-up trucks with benches. They are used for long-distance and local public transport.

Suling

A type of bamboo flute

Supplementary weft

Decorative weaving techniques in which extra ornamental weft threads are woven into a textile between two regular wefts to create patterns additional to the ground weave

 

Tbu

Shaman’s horns

That

Stupa or shrine housing Buddhist relics

Tinsin / Tinsinh

Traditional skirt worn by women with lower borders or foot band

Tmheek ram

Bamboo tube dulcimer, a string instrument

Toot

Vertical and transverse Flutes

 

Warp

Parallel threads that run longitudinally on the loom or cloth

Wat

A Buddhist Temple

Weft

Traverse threads in a fabric that cross and interlace with the warp elements

 

Yaan

Bronze kettle-gongs

Also Read
Crafts
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Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Overview

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