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Tribal Costume

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Every year we spend part of each trip trawling through piles of old bits of costume. It's amazing how many mosquitoes can hide in those piles. However its all worth it for the gems that we occasionally unearth. We also buy costume from individual women in villages. Here is a selection of some of the amazing pieces of traditional costumes we have collected.

To read more about collecting tribal textiles have a look at A H'mong Fleamarket New year and thoughts on the tyranny of embroidery

Click on the photo to get more images. And for more of our unique clothes, head to the Clothes section.

Photo of our 12 H'mong star decorations

12 H'mong star decorations

A pack of 12 embroidered stars or suns.

H'mong women use small embroidered patches like this to decorate their clothes. 

Size approx 1 inch diameter

TC0 – Tribal Costume: 12 H'mong star decorations
£3.50 per set of 12 Buy
Photo of our Tiny reverse applique baby collar
New

Tiny reverse applique baby collar

A beautiful little collar salvaged from the back of a babys jacket from the H'mong hilltribe of northern Thailand.

Tiny, tiny stitches and reverse applique. A miracle of fine stitchwork!

Size: 9 x 6 cms

TC12 – Tribal Costume: Tiny reverse applique baby collar
£8.50 each Buy
Photo of our Stitched and reverse appliqued child's collar
New

Stitched and reverse appliqued child's collar

A lovely hand stitched piece salvaged from the back of a H'mong child's jacket. Embroidered pieces are often recycled in this way once the garment becomes too tatty to wear.

This is a miracle of lovingly stitched double spirals 

Size: 10 x 11.5 cms

TC4 – Tribal Costume: Stitched and reverse appliqued child's collar
£15.00 each Buy
Photo of our H'mong baby hat

H'mong baby hat

A black satin hat for a little H'mong baby with hand sewn panels of reverse applique on either side of a little padded "beak" and an embroidererd square on the top.

From northern Thailand

Circumference 47 cms.

TC13 – Tribal Costume: H'mong baby hat
£21.50 each Buy
Photo of our H'mong child's jacket
New

H'mong child's jacket

A black velvet jacket made for a H'mong child or young teen.

Machine embroidered trim on the front, and around the hem and cuffs plus rows of characteristic H'mong stars. Fastened with press studs at the front

Size: Neck to sleeve cuff 47 cms . Chest (if worn done up) 78 cms

TC19 – Tribal Costume: H'mong child's jacket
£32.50 each Buy
Photo of our Yao embroidered headcloth

Yao embroidered headcloth

A dark blueindigo dyed square decorated with red, orange, green and white hand stitiched stars, tassles in acrylic wool and cotton and a beautifully hand woven long narrow braid.

Made by Yao women as a traditional head covering.

Size: 36 x 38 cms.

TC11 – Tribal Costume: Yao embroidered headcloth
£40.00 each Buy
Photo of our Mangarrai sarong
New

Mangarrai sarong

A hand woven long tube garment woven in the western part of Flores island, Indonesia. Garments like this are worn by Mangarrai women either right up to the armpits or folded over at the top to make a skirt.

Supplementary weft weave (also known as songket)

Shot green and red background with pink and orange motifs.

Size (if unstitched) 114 x 176 cms.

TC1 – Tribal Costume: Mangarrai sarong
£40.00 each Buy
Photo of our Tai Daeng brocaded skirt
New

Tai Daeng brocaded skirt

A traditional tube skirt made by the Tai Daeng women of northern Laos and completely stitched by hand.

The skirt is made up of a pale pink waistband, an upper section with red stripes and a panel of very intricate handwoven brocade (supplementary weft technique), a lower section of fine dark cotton with 6 patchwork print vertical strips and a central section of handwoven braid (worn at the front), then a bottom section with two handwoven braids going all the way roind the hem.

Size (if opened out) length 102 cms x width 110 cms (at waistband)

TC16 – Tribal Costume: Tai Daeng brocaded skirt
£65.00 each Buy
Photo of our Chinese jacket with stud work

Chinese jacket with stud work

Blue cotton jacket with hand embroidered details on collar and sleeves, and metal stud work in a curve across the front.

Bought from the maker in Dali, Yunnan SWChina.

Length 56 cms Width across back 57 cms.

TC8 – Tribal Costume: Chinese jacket with stud work
£65.00 each Buy
Photo of our Yao embroidered trousers
New

Yao embroidered trousers

A excellent example of a pair of finely embroidered Yao women's trousers.

Indigo handwoven cotton patched up into a fine pair with beautiful hand stitching. The pale blue indigo waistband is just made to fold over and pin at the waist.

Size: length 73 cms x waist 121 cms.

TC17 – Tribal Costume: Yao embroidered trousers
£95.00 per pair Buy
Photo of our Embellished H'mong woman's skirt
New

Embellished H'mong woman's skirt

A wonderfully heavy deep indigo blue skirt fully pleated with hand drawn batik and appliqued strips and squares in red and white.

The top section is commercial cotton and the lower section is handwoven hemp with batik and machine stitched appliqed prints.

This traditional skirt is fully around 5m in width at the hem. It is open at the back with long waist ties. It could be made into a wearable skirt (or two!) or make a beautiful circular display.

Waistband 69 cms Length 58 cms

TC3 – Tribal Costume: Embellished H'mong woman's skirt
£115.00 each Buy
Photo of our Dark Indigo pleated batik skirt
New

Dark Indigo pleated batik skirt

A wonderful cotton pleated skirt from the Miao minority women of Guizhou province in south western China. The skirt panel is all hand drawn batik with a blue cotton waistband (11 cms wide)

Natural indigo in pale and dark blues

Measurements: Skirt length 46 cms. Waist 89 cms

TC9 – Tribal Costume: Dark Indigo pleated batik skirt
£115.00 each Buy
Photo of our Pale Indigo pleated skirt
New

Pale Indigo pleated skirt

A wonderful cotton pleated skirt from the Miao minority women of Guizhou province in south western China. The skirt panel is all hand drawn batik with a pale cotton waistband (11 cms wide)

Natural indigo in pale and dark blues

Measurements: Skirt length 54 cms. Waist 98 cms

TC7 – Tribal Costume: Pale Indigo pleated skirt
£115.00 each Buy
Photo of our Kachin beaded tunic
New

Kachin beaded tunic

A wonderful piece of weaving and beadwork made into a totally hand stitched woman's tunic top. From Kachin state in northern Burma.

Very fine brocade hand weave with 16 cowrie shell flower decorations and an intricate network of tiny black beads front and back.

Length 40 cms. Width underarms 52 cms.

TC15 – Tribal Costume: Kachin beaded tunic
£155.00 each Buy
Photo of our Akha Jacket Xichuanbanna
New

Akha Jacket Xichuanbanna

A beautiful hand woven indigo cotton jacket with an array of 6 incredibly finely hand stitched panels on the back.

Bought from the Akha woman who had made it in a village in Xichuanbanna, Yunnan, SW China. You can read more about this on An Akha Jacket from the Tea Mountains

All the panels and the whole jacket is hand sewn. The jacket fabric is handwoven and dyed in indigo

Width (across back) 46 cms Length 65 cms

TC2 – Tribal Costume: Akha Jacket Xichuanbanna
£165.00 each Buy
Photo of our Miao jacket with folded patchwork
New

Miao jacket with folded patchwork

A large burgundy red figured  satin jacket with incredible details on the front and sleeve panels of tiny and very intricate folded patchworks, weaving and raised hand embroidered stitch work.

Bought at a Miao village in Guizhou, southwestern China

Size: length from collar to back hem 75 cms. back underarms 62 cms.

TC6 – Tribal Costume: Miao jacket with folded patchwork
£175.00 each Buy

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