The British Museum

Wooden reed making of the ethnic Lao Khrang in Thailand

Published on by Paula Granados Garcia

Reed, a comb-like element of a weaving loom which is responsible for separating warp and beating weft yarn, is one of the most essential parts of a handloom in many cultures in Thailand. In the past, weaving reeds were made of locally-sourced natural materials such as wood and bamboo. Nowadays, most Thai weavers use factory-made metal reeds partly due to convenience. As the use of wooden reeds has fallen, and the age of those who are skilled in making them has increased, the knowledge of the craft of making wooden reeds is now in danger of disappearing. This project recognizes the importance of the knowledge of wooden reed making and its contribution to Thai hand-weaving practice and overall textile culture, as well as the potential impact on environmental sustainability and local economies. The project will investigate and document the process of making, from collecting the raw material to its use in weaving fabric. The ethnographic focus is on the ethnic Lao Khrang of Ban Rai district, Uthai Thani province in Thailand. Methodology including ethnography, apprenticeship, making, interview and object analysis will be used. Documentation will consist of film, photography and written records. These will be collected and recorded on a regular basis in the fieldwork. Documents submitted to the repository will include a series of moving images, photographs and a written document explaining the data collected in detail. Printed reports will be lodged in local colleges and libraries to ensure accessibility for the community members. This project hopes to revive this endangered practice. Moreover, the result of this project will be provided both in Thai and English, ensuring accessibility to both local and international audiences.

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The Endangered Material Knowledge Programme

Project description alt


Project PI

Wuthigrai Siriphon, PhD

Host institution

Thammasat University

Project languages

Thai, Lao and English

Project ID


Project Page

Project Team

Jampee Tamasiri, Siriwan Sripenchan

Location of Research

Ban Rai, Thailand