Textiles of Thailand
About half of all Thai handicrafts are made up of some form of textile. Textiles are not only important to the Thai economy, but they are also a huge part of the Thai culture. Long ago, the weave, colors, and patterns represented an individual’s tribe and their status within the tribe. Today, nearly 200,000 Northern Thai natives earn their living farming and processing cotton or producing silk and other fabrics for export. Silk produced in Chiang Mai is an especially sought after material as it is regarded as being the best quality in the world. Historically, several regional wars have been spawned in attempts to control production and exporting of silk to other countries.
In more recent years, eco-friendly clothing and other textiles are in the forefront of the fashion industry. This has created a demand for natural and beautiful materials for use in international fashion. Younger Thai men and women are even studying fashion at universities and are creating more cutting edge designs to produce from these fabrics. Many co-ops are forming, creating fair paying jobs for the Thai people. Even the Institute for Science and Technology, Research and Development has become involved in the textile industry. Their projects include researching production methods that save energy, creating earth-friendly dyes, pesticide-free cotton farms and improving quality standards. They have also created resources for best practices and business management methods for Thai entrepreneurs to access freely in an attempt to build their small businesses into successful enterprises.
Big Grass offers many styles of these Thai and Laotian, eco-friendly, handmade clothing and textile items for the home. Designs range from traditional to contemporary fashions. We proudly work with these local co-ops in Thailand and Laos, practicing fair trade purchasing and exporting.