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  • The value(s) of Thai craft textiles in the 21st century

Oakley, Peter and Siriphon, Wuthigrai, 2020, Conference or Workshop, The value(s) of Thai craft textiles in the 21st century at AAS-in-Asia 2020, Kobe, Japan, 31 Aug - 4 Sept.

Abstract or Description:

The cultural distinctiveness of the Kingdom of Thailand has, in part, been built on the manufacture and consumption of specific woven textiles. Today, the craft weaving of silk and cotton fabrics is promoted by the Thai Royal Family through patronage, encouraged by government bodies and charitable foundations. The resulting products are worn by senior government officials and fashion-conscious urban professionals as well as rural villagers. However, despite the apparent current strength of the sector, the craft weaving industry faces a range of problems that threaten to destabilise or corrode its viability and relevance. These include issues around the cultural transmission of weaving skills and what are acceptable avenues for innovation. In some sense, Thai craft weaving is a classic case of the ‘iron cage of creativity’, as practicing weavers appear to be trapped by a limited repertoire of colour schemes and decorative motifs that are increasingly at odds with the expectations of some of their important groups of consumers, but weavers have little opportunity to challenge the status quo. Through a series of case studies, based on fieldwork conducted over the past five years, the authors will explain the nature of these pressures and how they come to influence or define what true craft woven Thai textiles can or should be. The paper will conclude with some suggestions of how Thai craft weavers can move beyond the current impasse whilst retaining their integrity and importance within Thai society and culture.

Official URL: https://aasinasia.org/category/online-exhibitors/?...
Subjects: Other > Social studies > L600 Anthropology > L610 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W710 Fabric and Leather Crafts > W714 Weaving
School or Centre: School of Arts & Humanities
Funders: RCA GCRF Development Scheme
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thai. textiles, weaving, Thailand
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2020 10:11
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2020 10:22
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/4492
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