Silk is one of the most valued and sought-after fabrics in the world. This exquisite material is hand reeled and hand woven. Silk has a beautiful natural uneven look and a soft shimmering texture which give it its uniqueness. Its origins are in the small towns and villages where women, after a hard day in the fields, spun, dyed and wove the fabric on hand looms. The process of making silk by hand still continues and is a precious heritage passed down from generation
to generation in Thailand. The main production centers of Thai silk fabrics are Chiang Mai, Bangkok and the northeast.
In Chiang Mai, visit Thai Silk Village and you will disco-ver the production of Thai silk that begins with the bombyx mori, a small worm that comes from the eggs of a silk moth, and that eats leaves of mulberry trees before building a cocoon from its spittle. The bombyx mori usually produces silk thread, ranging from light gold to very light green. A single thread filament is too thin to be used on its own so Thai women combine many threads to produce a thicker, usable fibber. They do this by hand-reeling the threads onto a wooden spindle to produce a uniform strand of raw silk. The process is a tedious one as it takes nearly 40 hours to produce a half kilogram of silk. The product will then be soaked in hot water and bleached before dyeing, then woven using a traditional hand operated loom.
Thai Silk Village on Sankampaeng Road gives you the opportunity to watch the process of making Thai silk, from the cocoon growing to the weaving of the finished product. They also give a running commentary by one of the factory’s staff, and present a wonderful showroom with thousands of ready to wear clothes, gift ideas and home decor articles.
- The difference between white and yellow cocoons:
White cocoons are smooth and about 60-100 meters long. A yellow cocoon is short, rough and about 20-30 meters long. However, every cocoon of both types also has three parts which vary in quality and character. The silk threads of the outer part are large, short and more textured filaments. In the next part of the cocoon, the filaments are smoother and longer than the first type but not as fine or expensive as the third type, which is best.
- How is Thai silk sold?
Thai silk is sold by the yard and as ready-to-wear clothing or souvenir items such as neckties, scarves, shawls, handbags and photo frames.
Did You Know?
Thai silk was introduced to the international market only after World War II. It is now famous worldwide.
THAI SILK VILLAGE :
120/27 Moo3 Sankampaeng Road. Chiang Mai.
Tel. 053-338 357