Me and my nephews head off to visit the handicrafts village just outside Chiang Mai (well, not so much a village as it is the industrial part of town, where all the factories are).
First up, the Thai Silk Factory…
Here are all the little silkworms (or caterpillars?)
And here’s all the cocoons…
Soaking the cocoons in hot water and spinning them into thread…
Silk threads dyed lots of different colours…
More spinning happening
And then finally weaving on a loom
And then on to the silver workshop, and the precious stones workshop (but sadly no photos allowed in the gemstone workshop!)
This was the silver workshop where they make Pandora-style silver and glass beads
Then we saw some awesome wood carving
This craftsman told us it will take him around 4 months to make this, and it costs around $4,000 to buy something like this.
And they showed us how they do inlaid mother of pearl – it was fascinating!
Then we learned all about how they make Lacquer – it was also fascinating! I didn’t know that real black lacquer comes from tree sap – like rubber!
The gold leaf process
Washing and sanding the lacquered pieces
Applying layer after layer – usually around 7-9 layers are put on
This guy was decorating the lacquered work with eggshell
And this lady was carving patterns into the lacquer
And this lady was painting patterns onto the lacquer
More gold leafing
And then we made paper!
And saw how they make paper umbrellas