Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at Textile Society of America 11th Biennial Symposium: Textiles as Cultural Expressions, September 4-7, 2008, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Copyright © 2008 Min Sun Hwang


Korean hemp cloth is produced for shrouds, funerary costumes, and everyday summer-wear. The two different terms used to describe hemp cloth in Korea are Andongpoh and Musam. They are differentiated by their production processes used to make the yarn. Andongpoh is indigenous to the southeast region of Korea, whereas Musam is produced in eleven different regions throughout Korea and represents the majority of hemp fabric production in Korea. Traditionally Andongpoh was used as an offering to kings and royal families, while Musam was made solely for the Korean lower classes. In 2006, at the 10th Biennial Symposium in Toronto, I presented a video presentation of my research of Andongpoh hemp production. This past year, I conducted on-site research in Boseong County as part of my continuing research on Korean hemp. Boseong County is in southern Korea and has a long history for its Musam hemp cultivation, which dates back to the 7th century. For my research, I filmed and documented hemp harvest and its 23 complex steps of Musam production. My film shows the great collaborative effort of the entire village which is integral to Musam production and distinguishes it from Andongpoh production. The main focus of my presentation will be the differences between these two hemp fiber making methods and how these differences create two different qualities of hemp cloth.