Pha Khao Ma, the Multi-Purpose Loincloth
“Pha Khao Ma” or the loincloth handcrafted with the very traditional style has become more than a regular piece of cloth found in all regions of Thailand. From clothes-like usage to baby hommock, this very piece of art is what really is amazing!
Literally, “Pha Khao Ma” is not a Thai word. It came from the Pursian word “kamarband”, meaning a waistband or a belt. As weaving is mostly done by women, the products are intended to be used predominantly by females. However, there is a kind of cloth uniquely used by Thai men. The distinctive Pha Khao Ma is a cultural symbol existing along with Thai males, old and young, for hundreds of years.
The evidence has suggested that the Pha Khao Ma has been used for a long time for many purposes such as a weapon wrap, a storage bag, a sleeping pad, a bathing wear and a towel for drying the body. With stripe patterns and a rectangular shape, the Pha Khao Ma is woven using cotton yarns. Good things about this very piece of cloth are that it is very light and can easily get dry. You can basically use it as a bathing wear and a towel at the same time.
Nowadays, Pha Khao Ma is significantly an approach to conserve and add value to the Thai product. The loincloth has become a trend for “vintage” style amongst people at all ages, especially the teenagers who see great potential in it. The government has even launched numerous campaigns to promote this part of Thai culture to wear the Pha Khao Ma. Additionally, we can still see the Pha Khao Ma used in making household items, decorations, or bags.
This is another pride of Thailand to bring our products to a higher level. Products made from Pha Khao Ma have now been exported to foreign markets both in ASEAN and other regions.
Find Thailand’s unique products in every souvenir shop or shopping mall. This might be a good new year gift.