Story-Telling via Woven Patterns: “Baan Puek Textiles” - The Traditional Heritage generating Revenue for the Community
We share the origin, conservation, and value-addition of Baan Tuek Textiles in Ang Sila. Locally known as “The Queen Grandmother’s Textiles,” these valuable handicrafts reflect the locals’ specialized skills and generate sustainable revenue for the community.
Photo : tis.dasta.or.th
"Distinct patterns, soft colors, design variety, and meticulous sewing." This motto reflects the experience of those who visit Baan Puek, Ang Sila subdistrict, Chonburi province to witness the textiles. The motto has piqued the interest of many – how does the 100-year-old fabric maintain its value and beauty to this very day?
Baan Puek Textiles of Ang Sila: Valuable Handicrafts reflecting Local Specialized Skills
The Baan Puek community is situated in Muang district, Chonburi province. The locals were mainly contractors and farmers. When Queen Srisavarindira temporarily resided at Ang Sila during the reign of King Rama V, she witnessed the hardships experienced by the local community. In order to support the community, she initiated a royal decree to teach the locals how to sew textiles for career development. These handwoven textiles became a popular product during the time.
During World War II, the handwoven textile industry of Baan Puek was paused. After the war ended, the handicraft industry was finally revived in the year 2013 to this very day. The textile industry of Baan Puek is currently represented by "Sai Sermsri," known locally as "Aunt Ai" – the last generation of Baan Puek textile experts who is committed to share the knowledge with the new generation. Moreover, the Baan Puek Textiles was renamed “Queen Grandmother’s Textiles” to honor Queen Srisavarindira who introduced the industry over 100 years ago. The handwoven textile industry is the pride of the Ang Sila community.
Baan Puek, Ang Sila Handwoven Textile Learning Center: The Thread Connecting the Past and Present
Besides its intricate beauty, each piece of handwoven textile reflects interesting stories and captivating designs originally created by the local community. The thread is carefully spun before being placed in spindles for weaving. Threads in larger tubes must be processed to identify patterns before weaving. Approximately 2,440 small threads are required to craft high-quality textiles, which can be comfortably worn in all seasons.
The signature of Baan Puek Textiles lies in the traditional, old-fashioned patterns invented and taught by "Grandmother Sai." These include the eel pattern, the quail pattern, the"Samook" pattern, the Bullet Wood pattern (full flower and half flower), the "Hang Karok" soft-silk pattern, the chessboard pattern, the Ratchawat pattern, the fabric-oriented pattern, the striped pattern, the vertically-striped pattern, the mesh pattern, and the "Lin Po" pattern.
The cultural heritage of handwoven textiles has been conserved and practiced by the new generation, creating signature handicraft products of Chonburi province. These textiles are used for a variety of purposes, such as bedsheets, yoga mats, and handbags. They are renowned for their beauty and durability due to their tightly woven nature.
Disseminating Knowledge to Continue the Textile Legacy
In order to conserve the unique patterns and designs of the Baan Puek Textiles, a group was formed consisting of members of all ages who are dedicated to knowledge exchange. The group was supported by Kasem Inthachot, the community leader who plays a pivotal role in developing the textiles to increase value and meet modern-day market demands.
He studied the textile industry from textbooks and local craftsmen in Chaiyaphum province, obtaining relevant knowledge, weaving techniques, and tools for developing Baan Puek textiles to competitively meet market demands. Thus, the handwoven textiles must be developed into a variety of products in order to sustain and improve the local community’s quality of living.
The dedication of the community leader and members over the years have developed "Baan Puek Textiles" into a popular product representing the Chonburi province. The community is proud to see their cultural heritage conserved and developed to become one of the signature aspects of Ang Sila throughout the years to come.