Natural Silk Dying is part of the tradition of Mudmee silk. The villagers of the Isaan Region in Thailand use natural dyes derived from seeds, leaves, roots, flowers, fruit,bark and insect resin. Onion skins can be used to make the colour orange, a particular insect is used to make a cochineal red, the indigo plant is used to create a deep blue. My friend Pui sometimes uses sticks, coffee or nuts and berries to create a particular brown depending on the shade.
What I want to explain is that people of Northern Thailand are mostly traditionalists who have had their skills passed down through generations so generally speaking if you walk into someone’s back yard you will find them dying naturally. Pui, the head of Phatoomthong is a master of Silk Production and knows which substance and combination of substances yield specific colours. In this process, the yarn can be dipped in dye and dried several times in succession to achieve the desired degree of evenness and colour intensity. This takes a great deal of skill because the weather and time of year can greatly influence how the yarn dyes. In fact, perfect colour matching is sometimes impossible – but this makes Thai silk fabric unique.
You will find that a large proportion of the Thai Silk Products we sell are naturally dyed.
Photo credits – Phatoomthong