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Pattaya Daily News

23 July 2009 :: 13:07:27 pm 35845

Her Majesty The Queen and The Promotion of Thai Fabrics

Thai people have been urged to wear Thai fabrics from August 1 to 12 in celebration of the birthday anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
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Her Majesty the Queen will turn 77 on August 12, 2009, and many activities have been prepared to celebrate this event. One of them is a campaign to encourage people to wear Thai fabrics. An admirer of Thai fabrics, Her Majesty has dressed in Thai fabrics since she was still Mom Rajawongse Srikit Kitiyakara.

In 1960, ten years after the royal wedding, Her Majesty decided that it was time to create a traditional Thai dress for women that would be instantly recognizable the world over. Research on the attire that Thai women had worn throughout various historical periods was undertaken to come up with national costume designs.

Her Majesty had the dresses adapted to suit present-day use, and the first five original designs were created. They include Thai Ruan Ton, Thai Chitralada, Thai Amarin, Thai Chakri, and Thai Borom Phiman. More designs were later added. During her visits to foreign countries, Her Majesty has worn them all. Thanks to Her Majesty, the Thai national dress is now recognized internationally. In fact, the national costumes are particularly suited to hand-woven silk, as well as plain, brocade or patterned, and tie-dyed silk.

In 1970, Their Majesties the King and Queen visited local villagers in Nakhon Phanom province in the Northeast. During the visit, Her Majesty noticed that the persons in an audience were dressed in colorful silk phasin, or a long, wrap-around skirt, even though they were going through hard times and lacked new clothes. She also saw many northeastern residents wearing their mudmee, a kind of silk, which is a specialty of northeastern Thailand. On further inquiry, Her Majesty learned that the local folks in each and every household wove their own cloth and wore them while going about their daily routine. They had never thought of making the clothes for sale, as they knew no one to sell them to.

Her Majesty told them to weave more fabric and said that she would buy them and do marketing for them. That was the beginning of the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, known in short as SUPPORT.

Her Majesty established SUPPORT in 1976, with the primary objective of setting up women?s groups and providing rural Thai women with equipment, materials, and training in cottage industries. Among the traditional crafts deemed worthy of being promoted on both local and world markets was mudmee.

In June 1977 at Chitralada Villa, Her Majesty inaugurated the silk-weaving apprenticeship project, aimed at giving fully integrated silk-weaving training to a new generation. The project begins with the cultivation of mulberry trees, the rearing of silkworms, reeling, dyeing, and then weaving threads into fabric, using various weaving techniques. It has now been turned into a silk-producing cottage industry, thus boosting family income and upgrading the living conditions of the people. Her Majesty also plays a vital role in promoting Thai silk and making it better known in the world at large.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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