Lao Khrang Pasins
A pasin is a sarong woven on a loom and worn by the Lao people. Today Jenny Spancake gave a talk at the Jim Thompson Library about her collection of antique pasins. Jenny has lived in Southeast Asia since 1983 when she and her husband first moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Seven years ago they moved to Thailand.
Jenny is an embroiderer, so the pasin caught her eye when she was shopping in Bangkok. It looks like embroidery even though it isn’t. It is a woven textile and the weft, or horizontal threads, create the look. She started collecting pasins woven by the Lao Khrang and now has so many she doesn’t know how many she has.
As she collected she learned about the history of the people. The Lao Khrang migrated to Thailand from Laos about 200 years ago. They now live in Phichit, Kampengpet, Suphanburi and Chainat in Thailand. The word Khrang may come from a word meaning lac, a red insect dye which is the basis for their signature red pasins.
Jenny’s collection contains many pasins 100 years old or more, still in very good condition. No two are ever alike so the collection continues to grow as she cannot pass up a new find. However as Jenny looks for antique pasins she makes it a point to occasionally purchase a beautiful newly woven pasin, as it is her belief that we have to support the weavers of today so the tradition can continue. To see textiles such as these, Jenny recommends the Paragon mall 4th floor in Bangkok, especially the shops “Maya” and “Golden Triangle.”