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Sinh and Lao Women

The Sinh is a traditional garment worn by Lao women. It’s a simple tube skirt which can identify the woman who wears it  in a variety of ways. The Sinh is made of silk and cotton woven in exquisite motifs as well as delicate embroidery. They come in different textures and designs and are usually created in rural areas by ethic groups. The finest silk is woven and worn by high ranking and urban women who can afford to pay for it. The Sinh, woven with diverse motifs and colors, reflects the culture, social relationships and beliefs from community to community and region to region. A certain type of Sinh is usully worn for a specific event.

Source: V.NATHAVONGDOUANGSY, "Sinh and Lao Women", page 19-21, 2006

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Type and Name of Lao Skirt (Lao Sinh)

A Skirt (Sinh) consists of 3 different parts – Houa Sinh (waistband), Pheun sinh (body, main part), and Tiin Sinh (hem).

“Houa Sinh” the waistband, is a narrow piece of about 20 cm. Stitched onto the top of the Sinh and tucked at the waist. It is usually woven in cotton or silk in a solid color. Waistbands using a striped design using cotton and silk mix or pure silk in supplementary weft pattern and woven to match a specific Sinh are reserved for important ceremonies.

“Pheun Sinh” is the main and longest part of the center of the Sinh. It is woven with different techniques such as: Continuous and discontinuous supplementary weft pattern, Supplementary warp pattern, Matmii (Ikat) Tapestry and Twisted multiple yarn pattern.

“Tiin Sinh” The hem, is a narrow piece stitched to the Sinh at the bottom. The hem is always woven with a carefully chosen and often elaborate design from which we are able to distinguish the origin and ethnicity of the garment.

Source: V.NATHAVONGDOUANGSY, “Sinh and Lao Women”, page 25-27, 2006

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