Image of Asia: Weaving silk in Thailand
In this trio of photos, workers weave Thai silk and adjust batches of dried thread at a decades-old workshop that supplies silk material to upmarket stores in Bangkok. Thailand’s share of world silk production is relatively modest at less than 1,000 tons a year compared with leader China, with well over 100,000 tons annually. But Thailand is noted for its hand-woven silk products, which add value and serve a luxury market separate from commercial, low-price products. American entrepreneur Jim Thompson revived the country’s traditional silk-weaving industry in the 1950s, overseeing the process from raising silkworms to retail sales and promoting silk as a high-fashion item around the world.
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