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Author Topic:   thai tribal embroidery
candy posted 2/2/03 8:59 PM     Click here to send email to candy  
more than a dozen years ago i bought two handcrafted embroidered shoulder bags in cheng mai. i now want to clean them (they're very dirty) and mount them to hang on the wall. they are of a black sacking-type material covered with multicolored geometric embroidery, silver-colored coins, shells, beads, even a couple pompoms. i'm wondering if anyone knows how to clean them and the coins and how i might identify the particular hill tribe that made them. many thanks for any assistance.
Richard posted 2/2/03 10:35 PM     Click here to send email to Richard
Candy, I tend to agree with Sandie. If you must have them cleaned, I would check some of the sites that deal with textile conservation. I think I remember a good link through the Textile Museum site. Also be careful how you mount them. Contact with bare walls can be very damaging due to the composition of the paints used. What I do is typically one of two things. The simplest is to have a stretcher made similar to that used for paintings and cover this with Linen, unbleached cotton etc. The carefully stitch the textile in place. This will allow adequate air circulation and makes it easy to spot any changes in the condition. I have also framed very fragile items under glass but can not go into the details, as it would take too long to explain. If you go this route a professional using only museum quality materials should do it. This can get very expensive but it can be a very nice effect. I have done this with some of my smaller Lampung Tampans but fortunately I have the experience, equipment and materials to do this myself. Therefore, my first choice would be to build a simple stretcher.
Richard   posted 2/2/03 11:17 PM     Click here to send email to Richard  

Candy, I picture is worth a 1000 words. My pictures are not that good but I hope this helps. Click on this link


posted 2/3/03 2:22 PM     Click here to send email to Pamela  
Candy, I agree with Sandie that, sight unseen, your bags sound like Akha - the geometric embroidery and the assorted trimmings. Cleaning is always a challenge. Depends on the particular kind of 'dirt'. A soft brush might help; a tougher one if the fabric is in good condition and there is no embroidery. Different quality tooth brushes are quite useful and not too clumsy. Some airing out of direct sunlight can help any odour problems. I have also heard of using some bread gently rubbed over to remove some residue. I like Richard's mounting/framing ideas. I have used natural linen around a stretcher and then sewn a textile to this carefully. (Nice tampans, Richard!)

Sandra Shamis posted 2/4/03 5:09 AM     Click here to send email to Sandra Shamis
Hi Candy,Pamela just informed me that my initial posting didn't make so here goes. The bags are probably Akha, as they frequently decorate clothes, bags, and headdress with silver coins (usually Burmese) and lots of shells. There is a chance they may be Lahu, but not a whole lot of Lahu stuff gets on the market. Also, items may begin to take on the motifs of other hilltribes. Clean the coins with a silver cloth and forget cleaning them, or take Richard's advice.
- Closed Thread - no new replies accepted.

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