This supplementary weft woven blanket was made by Tai weavers in Laos. The cotton blanket has a striking indigo blue design that includes motifs of elephants and other animals. Elephants were a symbol of strength and political power.The Tai and non-Tai groups who live in the same geographical areas make similar types of textiles. Today most household textiles are commercially produced except for dowry items. In the Lao-Tai custom, basic household necessities are presented as a set, to members of the bridegroom's family. These include blankets both for sleeping and for use as a wrap around the shoulders, baby blankets and other general multi-purpose cloths. Different types of blankets were used according to the seasons. Heavier blankets used for sleeping in winter were often filled with raw cotton or chicken feathers while lighter ones were backed with plain cotton.The Tai migrated sometime during the 13th century into Southeast Asia through Vietnam to Laos and Thailand, from the Yangtze River region and the southern provinces of China. They also travelled north and west into Myanmar.

Early 20th century onwards
Gross measurement: 163.3 x 101 cm
Accession No.
Cotton, silk, natural dyes
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum