antique rugs and Textiles from Laos – Laos is a complex country made up of many different ethnic groups, each of which practices a wide range of distinct traditions. As such, when discussing “Laotian art,” it is rather important to identify the tradition from which the piece in question is emerging – because of the incredible diversity of Laos, Laotian art is as variegated as the Laotian people. More than six million people call Laos home, a number that includes people from forty-nine officially recognized ethnic groups. While this incredible diversity does make it difficult to talk about a broad and unified “Laotian art,” there are certain practices and crafts that have been historically widespread throughout Laos such as the weaving of rugs and textiles.
Traditionally in Laos, textiles are hand-woven by women. Indeed, each step of the process is handled by women, who prepare dyes (generally by gathering organic items, such as insects and certain flowers, and subsequently extracting the dye from them), perform the actual dyeing of threads and fibers, and then conduct the actual weaving of the textile. This process is essential and thus well-known to many Laotian women who generally make their own clothes.
Depending on the background and location of the individual crafting a textile, different materials may be used: the Hmong people, for instance, will tend to use hemp which grows well in the higher elevations that the Hmong call home. As there is a considerable variety in the materials used in the construction of Laos textiles, there is a great range in the designs and the feel of such pieces. We invite you to explore the wonderful world of Laotian weaves with Nazmiyal!
View our current selection of Laos Textiles and Rugs below: