We often get asked if we have sinhs pre-sewn and ready to be worn. Unfortunately that's not the way it works. Yes, in the old days women would wrap the sinh (material) around their waist and then tuck it in or wrap a cloth belt around the sinh to hold it up. An example is in the photo above of Bai dressing in the traditional clothes (sinh and blouse) of a Tai Wat woman, a small tribal Tai group located in northern Huaphan Province (somewhat similar to the Tai Dam style).
But for many, many years sinhs have been custom sewn and it is crucial that the seamstress has to take three measurements of the woman who is going to wear the sinh so the sinh will fit correctly and look stylish, without wrinkles and mis-matched patterns. You can see in the photo we use on our Lao Sinh Section that the sinhs of the two young women on the right display perfectly, while the one on the left shows some wrinkles, which ideally, if sewn correctly, will not show.
In the three photos below you see Bai being measured for a sinh that the woman will sew for Bai. The three crucial measurements are the waist, hips and length, which vary of course with each individual.
Our hand-woven silk fabric is beautiful in its own right and the fabric doesn't just have to be used for sinhs. The average sinh fabric length is call in Lao "pheun neung" with one "pheun" being about 30 x 70 inches. But if you want the sinh fabric to be sewn into a sinh for you then you'll have to locate a seamstress that will sew the sinh for you
We had a manual for sewing sinhs translated into English this last June in Vientiane and will be referring to it in future posts.