Unthreading A Hmong Green Skirt

I unthreaded a Hmong Green skirt earlier today in preparation for Heritage Day at Kida’s school this Friday.  I am not good at explaining the process of unthreading but basically when the skirt was made it was tucked together tightly with thread in order to create tiny pleats.  The thread is removed only when the skirt is being worn (along with the rest of the outfit) to a special occasion, such as the Hmong New Year Festival.  In this case, the occasion is Heritage Day.  Kida was debating between wearing a Dutch costume or a Hmong costume to her school.  Since I don’t have a Dutch costume for her, her only other option was to wear a Hmong costume.  She was thrilled!  Husband and I thought it would be neat if she could wear her Hmong costume with some clogs so tomorrow we’ll try to locate some wooden clogs at a Dutch store we’ve located.

Unthreading is pretty simple but can be time consuming.  Since this skirt is small, there wasn’t much to unthread.  I’ve helped unthread a grown-up dress before and it’s no fun.

Kylie wanted to help me unthread and even cut the threads!  Initally, I told her, no, but she started crying (as if her life was over if she didn’t help) so I let her help.  I don’t know what’s so fun about unthreading but she enjoyed it.

This is what the dress looks like after it is unthreaded. I realized I should have taken a before photo of it threaded to compare.  The skirt really spreads out.  It’s a wrap skirt with ties on each side.  The modern versions of this dress isn’t wrap, instead, they either have elastic bands around the waist or a zipper.  The modern versions are also machine printed, whereas this one is hand stitched and machine sewn.  It’s very detailed and I’m sure, took a long time to finish.

The under side.

Historically, this style of skirt comes from the Green Hmong clan to differentiate themselves from the White Hmong clan (which I am), but today, any clan and anyone else can wear it.

8 thoughts on “Unthreading A Hmong Green Skirt

  1. The Hmong skirts that they sell nowadays have natural pleats and are not as heavy or time-consuming. However convenient they are, I still prefer the older, more elaborate skirts. I have a white, green, and Hmong Chinese skirt. I love wearing them, but hate re-threading them.


    1. So true! I too prefer the older and elaborate ones. There is something about them that reminds me of what it is to be Hmong. And, I agree about re-threading. I’ve never re-threaded and have always left that to my mom but I think I will learn it.

      I too have all three skirts but I haven’t worn them since 2005. 😦


      1. Re-threading is not hard. It’s just very time-consuming, more so than un-threading a skirt. My mom would always get angry at me for not doing it “right”—meaning not poking the needle and thread back into the same hole. Well, good luck on re-threading!


      2. That’s good to know. I can totally see how it can be more time consuming than unthreading. Thanks! I will probably learn to rethread (or just give it a go) after the holidays and HNY.


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