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Mae Jaem Dteen Jok
Fabric & Clothing Festival

dteen jok The district of Mae Jaem is somewhat off the beaten path for visitors, but is well worth a visit at any time of the year. From the 7th to 9th of February, a trip to Mae Jaem will take on a special significance as it is then that the annual Dteen Jok Festival is held.

If you intend to visit Mae Jaem, it is best to combine the trip with a tour of Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest peak. The road to Mae Jaem goes over the shoulder of the mountain, and then winds down the hill, through cool pine forests with their sharp tang of turpentine, before eventually reaching the District town in its broad, winding valley. Year-round attractions include waterfalls, rafting, trekking and visits to the hot springs.

Dteen Jok is a special weaving style used to create the wrap-around ladies garment know as Bha Zin the traditional every sarong. Bha Zin Dteen Jok is, however, rather special because of its elaborate hem. Originally, Dteen Jok was only made from cotton, as silk was reserved for royalty, and in the North this still holds true. The Dteen Jok is most commonly woven in horizontal stripes above the intricate hem created by the Jok technique. Below this hem there is always a plain, bright red border, typical of this style of weaving. More elaborate Dteen Jok, created for royalty, were made of silk and often had gold or silver woven into the fabric. There is also a Laotian version of Dteen Jok, with vertical stripes, and without the signature red border of the northern garment.

A visit to Mae Jaem during the festival will be well worthwhile because, not only will you be able to see the weaving technique demonstrated, but also prize fabrics will be on display. You can also buy some as unusual traditional Thai souvenirs for a very reasonable price. As always with Thai festivals, enjoy all the fun of the fair, with parades, beauty contests, movies, music and food stalls everywhere.

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