Mo hom

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Thai boy wearing a mo hom shirt

Mo hom or Mor hom (Thai: ม่อฮ่อม) is a type of Thai traditional cloth that local people in the north of Thailand wear in daily life.The word mo hom comes from northern Thai language: mo means pot and hom refers to the indigo plant, with its trunk and leaves placed water to produce the deep blue dye.

Nowadays, Mohom has been developed to be more beautiful and has been widespread all around the country because it’s comfortable to wear, cheap and durable. Sometimes Mohom receive honour to be worn for official ceremony to welcome an important person.

History [1][2][edit]

History does not tell so clear what year Mohom was created, but the dyeing with black navy colour in Prae province has presume to come from people who emigrated from many countries since Thonburi era . These are people from Chiangsan, Xishuangbanna and Laos. Those people has skill about dyeing with 3 kinds of plant “Kram, Hom and Homkriea” and use them to create the cloth “Mo hom”.

Mohom is a Lanna word. It doesn’t mean “shirt” but it means “black navy” which is the colour of the shirt. Although Mohom is the local word of Lanna, this shirt isn’t the original men shirt in Lanna. The original is white cotton shirt called “Hadook shirt”.

Mohom shirt began widespread all around the country in 1953, Mr. Kriengsri Nimmanhemin arranged banquet for Mr. Sanya Thammasak and America consul at Chiangmai province and has set the theme as Morhom shirt. After this banquet, Morhom shirt has more popular all around the country but people recognise it as North Thai local shirt or Lanna men shirt.

Etymology [2][edit]

“Morhom” means “black navy” which is a combination of two words, “Mo” means “black or navy colour” and “Hom” means the plant that gives navy colour for dyeing, has Scientific name Baphicacanthus cusia Brem. , people use leaf and stem for dyeing. Lanna people pronounce “Mo” but some people misunderstand and pronounce in different tone and spoken more slowly than “Mo” so it change the meaning because it means “pot”. And the meaning of the word change into “dye in the pot” instead of “black navy colour”.

Manufacturing [3][edit]

There are 2 parts

Preparing Hom[edit]

1. Collect leaf and stem from plant “Hom”, bind it and soak in rain water in big bucket for 72 hours. You will get green colour, leave old leaf and stem and put the new one instead until it rot like the first time. You will get navy colour, filter it and keep the fermented water. After that, add a calcium hydroxide and mix it and filter it again with cheese cloth.

2. Prepare a plastic bucket and pierce a small hole at the bottom. Add ash and rain water. Filter it and mix with colour from fermented Hom. Add calcium hydroxide and mix it again and you will get a colour for dyeing.


1. Pick a cotton textile to soak in bucket with clean water. After that, dry it with sunlight.

2. Put the dry textile into the colour bucket, wear plastic glove and mix the textile and colour with hand. After that, dry it with wind until it is half dry. Pick the textile do the same for 5-6 times until it has a navy colour.

3. Dry the textile.

Textiles [1][edit]

The textile that use for dyeing is produced from white cotton. Originally, people will collect very old cotton flower because it will spout and show fluffy cotton and then collect to dry by sunlight. It is cleaned, spun the ingredient and weaved with “Kee” (local loom). Finally, it will be sewn in cloth or textile and dyed with Hom.

In the past, Mohom clothes are produced just for use in family but nowadays there is a demand from many people and the local weaving is reduced so it is very rare because it takes time to make. People are not popular to do anymore so the producer use textile from factory instead and after that dye with natural colour or chemical colour.


The biggest source of production in Thailand is in Baan Thung Hong, Thung Hong district, Phrae. The places where you can buy mo hom cloth are areas around Phrae and traditional markets around Thailand.


One style of mo hom clothing is the traditional style with T-shirts that have buttons or tie rope and come in both long and short sleeve. The other style is a redesigned modern style made to be trendier for the new generation.


  1. ^ a b "ม่อฮ่อมเมืองแพร่". Green Road. 29 September 2008.
  2. ^ a b "ม่อฮ่อม หรือ หม้อห้อม". สำนักงานราชบัณฑิตยสภา Office of the Royal Society. 19 July 1999.
  3. ^ "การย้อมผ้าย้อมม่อฮ่อม". มหาวิทยาลัยเทคโนโลยีราชมงคลธัญบุรี Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi.