Thai Silk Fabric Unique Heritage Art Civilization

Thai silk fabric in Mudmee textile

Thai silk fabric is well-known worldwide as a unique and beautiful textile also titled a cultural treasure of Thailand. The art of civilization behind Thai silk was developed for a long time centuries by Thai local artisans who are primarily farmers living in rural areas.

Not only the art, but Thai textile also reflects the wisdom, history, social values, and religious beliefs of each part of Thailand depending on the culture that was developed pass down through generations. The different locality area creates different silk pattern so there are many distinctive patterns of Thai silk fabric.

Certainly, an extraordinary mixing of charm smoothness, and shine combined with irregular slab surface effects is a signature of the handwoven Thai silk. It is a certain fascination with natural fibers from home-grown yarns. This is a feature characteristic of Thai silk fabric that industrial cannot create this kind of textiles.

First of all, we recommend you read how to create Thai silk which will describe step by step from breeding silkworms, sericulture, and getting threads to weaving which is a fundamental knowledge that you should know before reading this story. Discover Thai sericulture to fully understand how silk threads were created.

How silk is made?

Thai sericulture refers to the process of making Thai silk. Exactly, in Thailand, the rural silk weaving villages not only produce their hand-weave silk fabrics but also raise silkworms and make their own silk threads and yarns.

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Mudmee – The Iconic Thai Silk

As we mention above different cultural areas generate different patterns of Thai silk fabric. In this article, we will talk about “Mudmee” which is one kind of Thai silk fabric. It is also known as the iconic Thai silk, originally from Isaan, the Northeast of Thailand.

Right now, many readers may be having a question “what is Mudmee?”

Certainly, Mudmee is the name of the fabric. It has meaning in the Thai language “Mud” means the act of tying and the wording “Mee” means cotton or silk threads. Accordingly, Mudmee refers to the special dye tie technique to generate an extraordinary sleek pattern for weaving fabric

Threads from a variety of native silkworms create the glossy, shimmering sheen to the fabric which makes it exceptionally elegant and fashionable. Not only Mudmee fabric, but the threads can also create Praewa fabric which is one famous kind of Thai silk fabric. Discover Praewa fabric the queen of Thai silk.

An Extraordinary Mudmee Textile

The Mudmee is a unique fabric. Since it is a handcrafted fabric, dye tied and woven by hand, each Mudmee silk pattern arrangement cannot be produced twice. Individual production means different patterns and color variations. Comparable to paintings that make the products of art particular with their own extraordinary pattern, a collecting piece that can only be produced at a limited amount.

We can say that the weaver cannot manufacture the Mudmee fabric exactly the same because it is craftmanship, like in fine art, as opposed to industrial mass manufacturing.

Mudmee is a fabric name that refers to a kind of handcrafted design pattern technique for weaving. It is not referred to as the thread or yarn composition of the fabric. This kind of Thai silk fabric is a combination of different dye-tied colors in both vertical and horizontal yarn woven in the loom. So, Mudmee fabric has no solid color, the distinctive sleek pattern is its features.

The complexity of the Mudmee patterns can be wondrous and the weaver’s skill must be expert level. Therefore, Mudmee is desirable to many silk enthusiasts more than any other Thai silk fabric.

Mudmee Threads a Fabric DNA

In fact, only a single horizontal yarn can create a whole Mudmee weaving pattern. The following question may be wondering how is a single, tiny, and delicate thread can produce the intricate and eye-catching patterns that we see in Mudmee fabric.

Basically, it’s just like a simple dye tie. The dyed thread is a certain color, controlled by the dye tie method. These ties point to prevent the dye from affecting the thread underneath them.

By this method, a skilled artisan generates a dyed pattern for the horizontal thread to reveal the pattern. In addition, woven together with the vertical threads strung on the loom reveal the fabric color.

Indeed, the weft yarn or horizontal thread carries a pattern. While the warp yarn or vertical thread carries fabric color.

classic silk loom woven

The video presents the Journey of MUJIL handcrafted bags from local Thai sericulture to unique design fashion handbags. Watch this video on YouTube.

The Colorful of Mudmee – Imaginary Creation

The multi-colored threads were created by expert dye-tie silk yarns and strung with the loom. The skilled pattern maker will tie threads grouped together at precise intervals to create the desired Mudmee pattern. In this step, the weaver needs to have experience and imagination to create new colors and extraordinary patterns.
In the past, weavers use natural dyes to create their color patterns. Our abundant forests are rich in number and shade. There are red from lac and Sappan woods, blue from indigo plants, yellow from jackfruit trees and mulberry plants, and black from ebony seeds and tropical almonds. At the present, some villager uses synthetic color and commercial dyes for more convenience.

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The Alternative Innovation of Fabric

Now a day, Mudmee fabric is not specific only silk. As previously stated, Mudmee is a fabric that refers to the dye tie technique. Then it is spread to a combination of cotton or even reeds woven.
Especially an innovative fabric that uses synthetic fibers ally with natural ones to develop a quality textile for more distinct, comfortable, and soft like cotton. Certainly, this alternative innovation is desirable in the fashion market.
Functional textiles improve longer life of use and more comfortable wear. Such as the improvement in UV protection, antibacterial, more breathable, and temperature control. These innovations can serve the demands of fashion consumers and are suitable for today’s lifestyles.


Mudmee silk is one kind of Thai silk fabric that has been considered the finest Thai silk textile. Indeed, fashion designers around the world use Mudmee fabric to create attractive fashion. We can say that the Mudmee ancient fabric is never old, it is still existing in modern fashion. If you visit Thailand, you’ll see that both rural and urban Thai ladies prefer to wear Mudmee accessories that go with their regular attire. Even though Mudmee couture has been available for long centuries, it often acts as if it is the latest Thai silk fashion trend.

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