Reed mat (craft)
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The mats are produced by plaiting reeds, strips of palm leaf, or some other easily available local plant. The supple mats made by this process of weaving without a loom are widely used in Thai homes. These mats are also now being made into shopping bags, place mats, and decorative wall hangings.
One popular kind of Thai mat is made from a kind of reed known as Kachud, which grows in the southern marshes. After the reeds are harvested, they are steeped in mud, which toughens them and prevents them from becoming brittle. They are then dried in the sun for a time and pounded flat, after which they are ready to be dyed and woven into mats of various sizes and patterns.
Other mats are produced in different parts of Thailand, most notably in the eastern province of Chanthaburi. Durable as well as attractive, they are plaited entirely by hand with an intricacy that makes the best resemble finely woven fabrics.
- The National Identity Office, Office of the Prime Minister, Royal Thai Government (1998)