Weaving fabric for home use was one of the most important tasks of the Korean woman from ancient times.
Hemp or flax, ramie, cotton muslin and silk were woven by women throughout the country. Many of the techniques are still used today. Hemp and flax weaving developed at a remarkable rate during the Choson period, and many regions had their own unique types of the fabrics.
The production of hemp fabric is extremely complicated, requiring precise cultivation and harvesting, the steaming and separation of bark, and careful drying and sorting.
ImageHansan, of South Ch'ungch'ong Province, was famous for its fine white ramie fabric. Indeed, the cloth was so fine it was sent as tribute to the Tang Chinese court during the Koryo period.
Ramie cloth is manufactured in a process quite similar to that of hemp fabric. Silk-making involved not only weaving, but also the complicated sericulture process.
Today the Korean government encourages the preservation of traditional weaving and cloth making techniques by designating human cultural assets who pass on their skill to new generations. Here we see the weaving of Andongp'o, hemp fabric in the Andong area.