I spent a month in Thailand over the summer so that my parents, who live in Chiang Mai, could spend some time with the baby. (They also wanted to see me and my husband, of course, but as usual, the baby dominated.) On a day when my mother and I felt like doing some shopping, she took me to visit a silk farm/factory/store.
These photos are from the workshop area beside the actual silk store. There were several huge floor looms (see part of one below) and a small area for other fibre art displays like spinning and dyeing, but the actual silk farm part would have been located in a different location. The majority of the finished silk is likely produced off-site too, so the looms were mostly for show even though they did have some beautiful samples set up.
I was in awe of the weaving samples displayed on the looms “in action.” I’d never seen anyone weave with such thin threads of silk before, with that many threads across the loom too.
I’d knit that.
They showed the different kinds of worms used to produce different varieties of silk, as well as some of the organic sources of dye. The finished products were gorgeous and I mostly tried not to look at the worms.
I was tempted to bring back a lot of silk for selfish sewing purposes, but instead just bought a lovely bright magenta silk wrap. When I think of silk in Canada, I have this idea of a thin, smooth, slippery fabric, or brushed silk which is a bit rougher. The varieties of silk produced at this factory were amazing and ended up producing both thin and thick cloth. My silk wrap will actually keep me quite warm in fall weather and it’s rough to the touch but so soft.