The Crafts Of Thailand
| In 1976, Queen Sirikit of Thailand established a foundation with the idea of giving Thais living in rural Thailand alternative means of income and also for reviving the traditional crafts of Thailand.
This foundation is called Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, SUPPORT for short.
Because of this foundation, a chain of outlets called Chitrlada Shops have been established which sell the crafts to public and tourists. There are 5 shops just in Bangkok and Chitrlada Shops are also present in Nakhon Pathom province and Chiang Mai.
One can find exquisite hand woven silks from the northeast, Yan Liphao handbags made from vine and fitted with gold fittings to look elegant, Thai cotton, Thai jewelry and many other economically priced souvenirs.
Hand woven textiles are made by rural communities in the northeast. The most popular fabric from the northeast of Thailand is Mat Mee silk. This silk is made from tie-dyed yarn and the weaver can work multi-colored patterns into the design of the fabric.
This craft was introduced into southern Thailand from India and gradually it spread to the north. In this craft a dark amalgam of lead, copper and silver metals are rubbed into etched silver. The resultant metal is then used to decorate trays, vases and other decoration items.
This craft is a specialty of Chiang Mai and northern Thailand. Three layers of lacquer from the Sumac tree are brushed on wood or wicker, and each layer is polished with charcoal before the application of the next. A final layer of lacquer is then applied and the wood or wicker is then polished with charcoal. It is inscribed and then soaked in red dye for two to three days to give the wood or wicker is red sheen.