I got a history lesson today as I was browsing for fabrics when I stumbled across Hmong textiles on Etsy. Loving the motifs, I dove into that category and learned a few things about their heritage.
The Hmong people are a tribe from the hills of China, Vietnam, and Laos. When the communists gained control over Laos in the 1970s, the Hmong people were tortured and even killed, so many fled to Thailand as refugees. Income from these woven textiles sustained them in their new homes. The historical narratives of the Hmong are sewn into their cloths, they are quite skilled at weaving.
These fabrics have been available to us in the west for some time, often generically called “batik”, a label we’re more familiar with. These Hmong fabrics are created with dyed cotton or hemp and embroidered or hand stitched with traditional motifs. My love to travel and my passion for design intersect when I research the history of textiles like these.
Do a search on Etsy for “Hmong fabric” and you’ll find so many beautiful textiles! Here’s a small sampling: