The Department of Science Service launches an app that promotes the country’s natural dyed handwoven fabrics
A new application that aims to upgrade the Thai textile industry was launched late last month at Quaint on Sukhumvit Soi 61 and is already delighting those who can’t resist the Kingdom’s fabrics by serving as a sort of online catalogue.
The Colour ID Labelling app is part of the “Adding Value to Natural Coloured Handwoven Fabric” project being run by the Department of Science Service.
“Our aim was for natural coloured handwoven fabrics to gain a wider following, especially among designers who want to make clothing out of Thai fabric. Each maker of textile has its own signature in fabric weaving and colouring so for the app we use a scientific technique to indicate the shade in international colour code format. That allows users of the app to select the colour they require more conveniently and directly place an order from one of the manufacturing sites provided on the app. We hope it will increase the capability of Thai textile enterprises in Thailand to attain recognition globally,” the department’s director general Umaporn Sukmoung said at the launch.
The app offers the natural coloured handwoven textiles from the 20 best sources in 6 provinces, namely Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Chaiyaphum, Buriram, and Surin. Each category is identified through the different colour shades according to the materials and ingredients used in the colouring procedure and combined with QR and AR code technology that displays the production process in both stills and video format.
The majority of the producers hail from Sakon Nakhon and include the Textile Village of Phuthai Runni, the Textile Village of Ban Lao Yai, Women’s Community Enterprise Moo 8, Community Enterprise of Indigo Dye in Ban Choeng Doy, Mae Thongsiri’s second Women’s Textile Weaving Group, the Indigo Dye Group of Ban Nong Krong, the Indigo Dye Group of Ban Nakham, Ban Panna Natural Coloured Textile Group, and the Loom Woven Textile Group of Ban Na Ngua.
Nakhon Phanom’s sources are listed as the Ban Na Koy Self-Sufficient Village Learning Centre, and Ban Khok Saad Women’s Cotton Textile Weaving Group; Mukdahan offers the Mae Wiang Ban Kam Aa-Haun Group, the Ban Khun Ya Hand Woven Fabric Group, and the Silk Community Enterprise Group of Ban Phu and Surin has the Ancient Mudmee Hol in Natural Colour, Natural Colour Silk from Bandu, and Ban Rangol Silk.
Hailing from Chaiyaphum are the Nong Bua Daeng Community Enterprise of Natural Coloured Textile, and the Sericulture Village of Ban Kwao subDistrict; and bringing up the rear is Na Pho District Handicraft Centre in Buriram.
The launch included an exhibition of exquisite natural dye Thai textiles along with a fashion show showcasing Nadyn Jadyn’s designer and creative director Nattiya Sooksathan’s “Blue Voyage and Passage of Petals” collection inspired by the flowing river and Illuminated Boat Procession ceremony of Northeast Thailand, which uses flower petals and heartwoods as the dyes. A special outfit from the same collection was also part of the exhibition and, like the other clothes in the collection, transmitted the flow of the river through a combination of geometric shapes and pleats. Texture was added through the use of natural linen fabric making it ideal for daily wear and the ensemble was completed with the traditional Thai shawl.
Nattiya’s creations received loud applause from the designers and celebrities in the audience, among them Pattarat Ardwong, Pimsiri Nakswasdi, Arisa Aswanichakorn, Amata-Pasara Chittasenee, Yuwared Sarutanond, Dr Thitiporn Sanguanpiyapan, Nattakorn Choonhavan, Natprapa Choonhavan, Karuna Vatchanaphukka, Pavenelak Limpichart, Siripa Intavichein, Wanchana Eiampikul, Pattaporn Salirathwipak, Pattapan Salirathwipak, Chaninthida Chantarubeksa, Kittinan Tungsirimanakul, Pipatchara Kaeojinda and Vichada Poolphol.
“I had the opportunity to experience the way of life of the people in Isaan and saw for myself how determined the weavers are to preserve traditional Thai wisdom and their elaborate craftsmanship. I want to present this experience in my own style and used my favourite pieces of textile in modern outfits. I wore a pink dress made of Mudmee fabric when I went to India and received many compliments and requests for photos,” said Amata, who is better known as fashionista Pearypie.
Chaninthida too loves Thai textiles and studied them for a while. “My favourite is a fabric fermented in mud because it’s so comfortable to wear. I make trousers or skirts and match them with an ordinary top or make accessories such as headbands and shawls from Thai fabric. I’m particularly interested in fabric with distinctive patterns. On special occasions like religious events or meetings with senior relatives, I always wear Thai fabric and feel so proud when people give positive feedback,” she said.
Yuwared says the unique charm of Thai textile is that it looks appropriate and refined. “I recently wore costume from Thai fabric when I met the Supreme Patriarch. My favourite textile is mudmee silk because of the variety of patterns. The fabric is so versatile, it can be styled in a fashionable way by matching a silk skirt with a chic shirt and complete the look with a purse made from Thai fabric,” she said.
“I grew up with Thai textiles as my mother [Pimpawan Limpichart] wore them a lot. I’ve followed in her footsteps and use Thai fabrics for a casual and wearable look. I prefer simple natural coloured textiles without a pattern for trousers and wear them with a sleeveless top and crafted silver pieces. I wore this style of costume to a fashion show in England, and many foreigners became very interested in Thai textiles,” said Pavenelak.
The Color ID Labeling app – note the American spelling – is available for download now via App Store and Play Store.