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Nok Hong Kham Heritage Silk Sinhs
The pattern in these sinhs is very similar to the pattern in our Nok Hong Kham Heritage Silk Scarves.
We worked with a Tai Daeng weaver in designing these sinhs and decided on a simple Lao geometric motif that we feel provides an appealing contrast to the soft-hued colors of the natural-dyed silk without being overpowering. The pattern is what defines the hem of the sinh (dtin sinh) and in the main pattern is a geometric “figure” between what looks like two X’s. The geometric figure is called a “dok khom” which is a stylized flower. Dok is the prefix used in describing all flowers in Laos, but this particular flower, dok khom, only comes to life through the weaver’s imagination. The dok khom in the scarves are especially beautiful as the weaver incorporates three different complementary colors that bestow a subtle multi-dimensional effect.
The two X’s should really be looked at as two opposing V’s and are called “Dok Khuam gab Dok Gnai.” What they represent are two flowers, one flower facing up back-to-back to a flower facing down. Again, these are not supposed to represent real flowers, but a stylized flower motif utilized by Lao weavers.
In the ikat bands framing the main pattern the design is called dok dao (star flower) which utilizes a patterning technique call sam lam, where three knots are tied in a three step pattern. When looking at the ikat on the sins and scarves, and especially the sinhs, we “see” birds flying, rather than stars. But, just like reading a good novel, there are many interpretations and a good weaver will “purposely conceal the motifs used through the use of closely related colors or contain one motif within others in the belief that hiding figures gives them greater [protective] power.” From “Patterns and Motifs” in the catalog Weaving Tradition: Carol Cassidy and Woven Silks of Laos.
We feel these sinhs have a clean, classic design with the design only in the hem.