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Handicraft Village

Thai goods made right in front of our eyes.

sunny 91 °F

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When our guide dropped us off at our hotel after picking us up at the airport she informed us that our hotel was in a very good location directly across from the night market. She advised us to take a look around the night market, find the types of things we would like to buy, and then wait. She was taking us to Handicraft factories to see how many of the Thai goods were made and she wanted us to wait to purchase items until we saw the quality items made by the Thai people as opposed to the cheap or faux items made by machine. We later found this to be superb advice and we had a great baseline from which to judge the goods at the Handicraft villages.
We visited Handicraft factories for silver items, silk, hand knotted rugs, and paper umbrellas. While we visited factories in China, they were nothing like the factories in Thailand. In China, we would see one person demonstrating how the items were made. In Thailand, we saw dozens of people completing each step in the process and you could see them stocking some of the finished items. It was definitely more authentic.
The silver factory makes items for a charm company similar to Pandora and we watched them making charms and pendants. At the silk factory, the ladies were weaving cloth on the looms. Cloth I later found in the store that was attached to the work area. The paper umbrella handicraft set-up was the most impressive. The ladies worked in stations all in a row and we could see the umbrellas taking form and watched the ladies painting the designs.

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This key tells the person making the rug the order of the colors of the knots to make a pattern.

We also learned how hand knotted carpets are made. Each carpet takes months to make and can involve an entire family. The carpet place sells the carpets of 73 different families. Each family owns a specific pattern so the store sells 73 different patterns for carpets. The handiwork was absolutely beautiful. The owner showed us the difference between a $4500 carpet and a $10,000 carpet. The latter was so intricate and beautiful it looked like a person could not possibly make it!

Posted by SusanConradWang 09:14 Archived in Thailand Tagged chiang_mai

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