What to Buy
Thai silk:Perhaps as well known as Thai food or beaches, Thai silk is an iconic Thai product, made world famous by American CIA agent/silk pioneer Jim Thompson in the wake of World War II. Its high quality, unique designs, and affordability makes Thai silk one of the top shopping items for visitors to Thailand. Thai silk scarves and ties are common souvenirs, although silk material for dress-making is quite popular as well. While some try to pass off synthetic materials as 100% silk, genuine Thai silk is quite common and affordable. There are even many places around Thailand that visitors can observe the process of silk production and purchase hand-made and naturally dyed Thai silk products, particularly around Chiang Mai and northeastern Thailand.Thai Cottons & Batik:Hand woven Thai cotton cloth has become almost as renowned as Thai silk, owing to its durability and flexibility. Thai cotton is used to create clothing, bed linens, table linens, rugs, bags, and other household items. Hill tribe and batik designs are also immensely popular, with each province of Thailand producing its own unique styles and products. Mudmee (tie-dyed) Silk:Mudmee is a unique style of Thai silk, produced in the northeastern Thai provinces. Mudmee silk is produced from tie-dyed silk threads, which are hand woven in unique designs featuring intricate patterns of color. The Mudmee style is specific to northeastern Thailand and the Queen of Thailand has developed the production of this Thai craft to promote rural development; Mudmee silk is regularly worn by members of the royal family.