Patterned Artisan Scarf from Thailand


SKU: 066/01/0818-19-20-23 Categories: ,

Cotton Neckwear from Lamphun: Patterned Artisan Scarf

When it’s freezing outside, this patterned artisan scarf is exactly what you need! Thickly textured and luscious, it’s guaranteed to keep you warm during the coldest of days. Measuring an average 140×40 cm, this cotton artisan scarf will be just the right size to tuck into your overcoat or vest. You won’t find this handmade cotton scarf anywhere else, as it was custom designed and woven for us.

Through mutual friends, we got into contact with Khun Makiah and her family. They belong to the Karen ethnic minority group living in the mountains outside Lamphun City, Northern Thailand. As subsistence farmers, hunter-gatherers, and hired hands, they live a peaceful though modest life in their small jungle village.

Most families in this area practice some form of home weaving for personal use. Fabrics, bags, and clothing are all handwoven on the premises, between growing vegetables and herding their cattle, as are these patterned artisan scarves. Homegrown cotton is used to weave on back strap looms. All fabrics are mainly colored with dyes extracted from their natural surroundings.

Traditional Backstrap Loom Weaving

Weaving on a back-strap loom is hard work. Sitting for hours on end with your back as only support severely strains the muscles in that part of the body. There are only two connective points in this technique. Firstly, the entire structure of warp and weft are hung from a small hook, at about chest height. Secondly, there is a strap wrapped around your back.

The movement of the body allows the weaver to adjust the tension on the threads. In doing so, they can influence the thickness of the weave and its general tensile strength. This type of weaving is still commonly used in small rural communities. Take a look at another example of an artisan cotton product here.

Dyeing Fabrics with Natural Colors and Pigments – Artisan Cotton Scarves

While the Karen people enjoy working with bright colors, in this case, the use of mainly natural pigments has given rise to artisan cotton scarves in elegant pastel colors.

Different shades of light blue, grey, brown, off-white, and pink are derived from natural substances. For example, the deep brown coloration is made from the nuts, seeds, and bark of a forest palm. Light blues find their way onto this Karen cotton neckwear through indigo and butterfly pea flowers’ raw processing. From clay and soil, they obtain beautiful grey tones. Their vivid pink is perhaps the most special, as its source lies with the excrement of aphids. Though related to the cochineal from South America, this type isn’t harvested from living animals. The aphids excrete a sticky substance that creates this bright pink dye.

Natural pigments are generally softer in hues and are susceptible to natural fading over time. They always retain their intrinsic beauty, aided by the organic cotton used, ideally suited for absorbing these natural colors. If you’d like some more information on dyeing fabrics with all-natural materials, take a look at this website.

Sustainable Trade Principles in Action

Metiisto Fashion always reinvests a share of our profits directly into the relative communities. For this very reason, many other small artisan groups enjoy working with us. We always carefully analyze their specific needs so that we can focus our aide efforts.

Take a look at these artisan cotton scarves, for example. A small group of weavers created them in Chiang Rai under the guidance of Ms. Boon from Torboon. In this way, she provides them with additional income and knowledge to develop their future skills. After all, providing education is one of the core principles of sustainable development.

Through your purchase of this handmade cotton scarf, obtained from reliable and durable sources, you are directly supporting the continuation of their craft. You also help improve their living conditions and provide funds for the education of Nong Khaotooh and other children like her. Please help us in making a difference.

Additional information


Schotse ruit blauw roze 0818, Schotse ruit bruin roze 0819, driekleurig gestreept 0820, wit blauw 0823


Blue, Brown, Pink, White

Pigment & dyes

Anchan Butterfly Pea, Cochineal, Natural Color, Palm Nut