Name: Red Hmong Hemp Blanket
Hmong blankets are repurposed and assembled from skirts that were handmade for a previous year's wear. Each new year, a Hmong woman will make a new outfit for new years, and her old skirt is made into a blanket like this one. This skirt was made and worn by a Red Hmong woman (a photo of a Red Hmong woman wearing her skirt is included for information purposes). The strips of hemp were from village grown hemp that was peeled, twined into a long string, woven, ironed between a rock and a log, wax designs were drawn on and then the fabric was dyed in indigo up to 20 times to achieve the desired depth of color. The wax was removed, and the woman then hand appliqued and embroidered the hemp panels to make a beautiful skirt for herself or her daughters to wear. Pleat lines can still be seen throughout the blanket from the tightly pleated manner in which the skirts are worn. This blanket is bordered with cotton fabric from a skirt. Hemp blankets are becoming harder to find as the Hmong women are gradually shifting to purchasing commercially made printed fabrics to make their skirts as a time saver.
Size: 73 in. x 78 in.
Origins: Lao Cai Province, Vietnam