171.5 x 87.5cm (irreg.)
The Tai Neua are a sub-group of the Tai language family. The Tai live in a broad region stretching from Eastern India to Southwestern China and Northern Vietnam. Before the easy availability of printed cotton, Lao-Tai women produced all the textiles for the home, including mattresses, pillows, clothing, and decorative pieces. The blankets are made of at least two pieces of fabric separately woven on a backstrap loom (instead of using a wooden frame, the loom is held taut by a strap that passes around the weaver’s back). Blankets are necessary as the nights can be cold in the highlands of Laos.
Sleeping blankets consist of two or three pieces of cloth joined together and framed and backed by a piece of plain fabric, as can be seen in this textile. The warps and wefts are white, and the decorative motifs are composed of indigo-dyed supplementary weft yarns.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, February 2012.