Thai fisherman pants

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Fisherman pants.jpg

Thai fisherman pants (Thai: กางเกงเล, RTGSkangkeng le, pronounced [kāːŋ.kēːŋ lēː]; Lannaสะดอ, pronounced [sa.dɔɔ]) are lightweight unisex trousers that are made very wide in the waist so that one size fits all. The pants are wrapped around the waist and ribbons are tied to form a belt. The excess material is then folded over the knot.[1] Although traditionally used by fishermen in Thailand, they have become popular among others for casual, beach, and exercise wear as well as for backpacking and pregnancy.

Thai fishermen do in reality wear this style of pants. They are also increasingly common among many men and women of all nationalities. This style of trousers is usually made of cotton or rayon but is also now widely available in a variety of styles and fabrics, such as hemp, bamboo, or linen.

Thai fisherman pants are very similar to the traditional attire of Intha males, who live on Inle Lake of Myanmar. They are known in Burmese as Shan baun-mi.[2]


Thai fishermen in boats

Traditionally, the pants were worn by Thai fisherman (hence the name) due to their ability to dry very quickly, being very easy to make and allowing for free movement, all required criteria for this line of work.

Another piece of traditional wear for Thai fisherman was a sarong, which is a simpler version of the fisherman pants, but with a skirt style with only one piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. In summer, the sarong was a popular choice due to its airy nature. However, the sarong's simple design meant that it was not very secure around the waist, and with a rocking fishing boat where the only way to stay stable is to keep moving, the skirt style was not suitable and a more regular "pants" style was popularised, along with an adjustable tie around the waist to hold them up.

Today, Thai fisherman pants are worn by many more people as loose fitting, comfortable pants worn during indoor activities that require a wide range of movement such as Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation, or outdoor activities, such as camping, backpacking, or other activities that require movement. Many people have also found them useful during pregnancy, due to their adaptable waistline and soft yet durable material.

Fisherman pants traditionally were dyed only blue or black. The pants now come in a large range of colours and styles. Many retailers sell Thai fisherman pants, including huge international retailers.

They are also relatively cheap and are easy to make when compared to other types of pants such as jeans. They are largely made of a cotton blend and do not have to be dyed extensively, so they are often made by an individual as a DIY project from an old piece of clothing.


  1. ^ "How to Wear Thai Fisherman Pants". wikihow. Retrieved 2016-11-09.
  2. ^ "What are Thai Fisherman Pants? (with pictures)". wiseGEEK. Retrieved 2016-05-21.