Ban Tha Sawang Silk Weaving Village
This community is widely recognised for utilising looms with over a hundred heddles to weave Chansoma golden brocade silk of the highest quality, which has been offered to the Queen of Thailand as well as previous royal courts. There are a number of places in the village that display the ancient art of traditional weaving. The best of these are in the open-air wooden buildings where you can watch 4 -7 people on two different floors weave the silk on huge traditional looms. These unique buildings are surrounded by decorative gardens and are accessed by a gravel path. In the weaving process, 2-3 people are required to raise the heddles, one to insert the wooden marker and one to weave. Because of the complicated weaving techniques, only 6-7 centimetres of fabric can be woven each day on each loom which is why high-quality silk is so expensive. The dazzling quality of the golden brocade is a result of selecting fine and delicate silk threads from the innermost part of the silk cocoon. Here you can see how they are bleached, boiled, and coloured with natural dyes by hand. Some of the finished silk is displayed in antique bureaus and exquisite ceramics. You can also buy silk here at a lower price than in Bangkok, but be careful as some of the material on sale is polished cotton and synthetic material, often Chinese imports. If it’s too cheap to be silk, it isn’t silk! Most of the silk produced here is upwards of 30,000B per metre and is often pre-ordered months in advance. There are two restaurants/cafes, and displays are daily at 1:00pm. You can also homestay at the village for 350B per night including 2 meals. Contact the Chairman of the Homestay Group on +66 896303396 for more info. Entry: Free Open: All day but displays are at 1:00pm daily. Tel: +66 897885106 (Mr.Putthipat Thammanichanon) Address: Ban Tha Sawang, Tambon Tha Sawang, Amphoe Mueang, Surin. Getting Here: Ban Tha Sawang village is 8km northwest of Surin. A tuk-tuk will cost around 500B return including waiting time. If you have your own transport head out on Thung Poh Road and look for the signs.