Thailand silk & cottons

Thai silks are famous worldwide, thanks in part to efforts by Jim Thompson, the Support Foundation of H.R.H. Queen Sirikit and the many small factories that actively support the continued existance of age-old weaving and dying techniques. Interioir and fashion designers are finding exciting new applications for the many distinctive regional weaves and patterns. In the home, beautiful multicolored traditional Thai textiles serve as wall hangings, table runners, hanging screens and cushion covers. In the fashion world, the complex patterns and colors are used as eye-catching accents on many types of apparel.

Sleek and sturdy, Thai silk is now available in a broad palette of colors and variety of thicknesses. It's perfect for every home decorating need, from upholstery material to wall and window treatments. In the hands of the world's trendy young designers, this most versatile of fabrics is being turned into chic fashion statements. For example, traditional Thai sarongs and tops in new styles and colors are haute couture eveningwear for men and women alike.

Most silk comes from the Northeast and the North, but some are woven in and around Bangkok. For range and quality try Jim Thompson's, Khanitha and Shinawatra on Sukhumvit Road. The Thai Silk Fair is held in Khon Kaen in late November and early December.

Once considered poor relatives of regal silk, homespun cotton and hemp cloths are aslo making a big splash. These natural-dyed fabrics work well for clothing and home furnishings alike. Available in plain or variegated colors, cotton bedspreads, throw rugs, and placemats are extremely popular home items. And the everyday outfits of rural Thai farmers durable woven shoulder bags and simple cloth ensembles are now favored by international fashion mavens.