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Salon du Tapis d'Orient

The Salon du Tapis d'Orient is a moderated discussion group in the manner of the 19th century salon devoted to oriental rugs and textiles and all aspects of their appreciation. Please include your full name and e-mail address in your posting.

Part 3: The Threads of Khmer History:
A ‘warped’ look at the temples of Angkor

by Jaina Mishra


31: Lady carrying her sash garment with grace. Note the end peeping from the back of her waist has only a single corner compared to the one in picture 18, that has 2 corners.

32: The garment seems to be folded over beyond the top of the belt. The loose woven flap that extends diagonally in front, all the way down to the calves is also arranged differently.

33: The flap and the perfect circular tying at the waist are noteworthy.

34: The flap is arranged differently. The design motifs also connect the flowers creating a lattice (the words I use below to describe these are lay people terms).

35: The unstitched cloth is tied like a pair of shorts.

36: Curved loose end of the sash

37: Checkered loin cloth

38: Loin cloth

The following are from the Bayon temple.

39: Stitched blouse

40: Blouse

41: Long kurta

42: Long robes

43: Man in a lungi

44: Long sleeveless shirt and skirt

45: Half shirt similar to a ‘bandi’ worn in other places

46: Twisted textile loin cloth

47: Woven or padded? Skirt

All the new fashions (Number 39 onwards) seen in Bayon panels may be representative of the visiting tradesmen from other cultures.


I quote from Zhou Daguan’s text: “There are many rules concerning what materials can be worn by persons of different rank. Among the materials worn by the sovereign, there are some which are worth more than three or four ounces of gold; they are extremely fine and costly. Although fabrics are woven in the country, some come from Siam (Thailand) and Champa (Vietnam) but the most esteemed are in general those which come from India for their fine and delicate texture. Only the ruler can dress in cloth with an all-over floral design. The important officials and princes can wear cloth with groups of bunched flowers. Ordinary mandarins are only allowed to wear cloth with two bunches of flowers. Among the people only women are authorised to wear these cloths” “When officials go out, their insignia and attendants are decided according to rank” This includes parasols and palanquins of different kinds. “All these parasols are made of red Chinese taffeta and their ‘fringe’ comes down to the ground. Oiled parasols are all made with green taffeta and their ‘fringe’ is short.”

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