A founder of the Thai Textile Society, Kathleen Forance Johnson, will speak about her research on looms and weaving equipment in Burma at a Morning Coffee on Thursday, September 20 at 10:30 a.m. The event will be held in the William Warren Library on the fourth floor of the James H.W. Thompson Foundation.
Ms. Johnson, an avid weaver and textile collector, is part of a research team led by Sylvia Frasier Lu, a well-known scholar and author on Southeast Asian textiles and the crafts of Burma, or Myanmar. A resident of Bangkok from 2001-2004, Ms. Johnson is in Thailand as co-leader of a university student group studying the impact of modernization.
Drawing from her contacts among western scholars interested in a wide range of related topics and well-informed friends within Burma itself, Ms. Lu is trying to document all aspects of a specific group of handloom textiles. This study does not include Myanmar’s many individual ethnic nationalities, elsewhere called “hill tribes”, but focuses on handloom textiles of the lowland dominant group of Burmans. While the colorful “hill tribe” and “minorities” have been well documented, the mainstream lowland Burmans have been rather overlooked. No one publication fully explores this topic. It is Ms. Lu’s objective to fill this gap.
She has asked Ms. Johnson for help from hands on weavers to explore and document technical aspects of textile production, which non-weaving scholars largely do not understand or write about. These aspects include the types of looms and equipment, textile structure and pattern, dyes, fibers and patterning devices. Ms. Johnson has formed a study group through the Complex Weavers Textile Analysis group, of which she was a founding member. In Ms. Johnson’s opinion, this research is a chance to get a glimpse of one of the last frontiers of textile history and to work with a brilliant, world-renowned scholar.
In order to plan for this event, the Society asks that attendees please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, September 18. The suggested donation will be 100 baht for Society members and 200 baht for non-members.
Location: William Warren Library, Fourth Floor, James H.W. Thompson Foundation, 6 Soi Kasemsan, 2 Rama 1 Road, Wangmai, Phayathai, Bangkok 10330BTS National Stadium