Name: Red Tai Baby Blanket
This is a Tai Daeng (Red Tai) blanket for wrapping around children being carried to keep them warm. The blanket is about 20 years old. The warp and ground weft are village-raised, hand reeled silk, and the weft is village raised, handspun, indigo dyed cotton. The fascinating thing about these paa phimon textiles is that they are "zone dyed" in the bottom red section of the textile. That means the bottom warp section was dyed separately from the remainder of the warp in order to be only red (dyed with lac) in the bottom section, allowing the bottom section to be fully red in both the warp and weft sections while the remainder of the textile is natural colored. The bottom section includes rows of script hooks surrounding the row of two-headed saang hong (mythological elephant birds) with rainbow bellies representing hong birds (mythological birds whose bellies are rainbows). The body of the textile is filled with naga (mythological river serpents) and phii nyak (mythological giant spirits that live in the forest and are a danger to children, but on the textile become protective spirits). All of these motifs provide spiritual protection for the child wrapped within the textile for warmth. Comes with a photo of the women who wove the textile, she says, at age 5 (more likely 7-10, once she could reach the treadles and had woven for a little while for practice).
Size: 35.5" x 81"
Origins: Houaphanh Province, Laos