Calendar Pages -- Collector’s Corner: The Use of Natural Dyes in Thailand

March 04th, 2006

Collector’s Corner: The Use of Natural Dyes in Thailand

Speaker: Rosemarie Wanchupela
10 a.m., At the home of Ruth Gerson

Natural dyes were traditionally used in rural Thailand. Although these dyes are still available, many villagers have forgotten how to use them, particularly in making them colorfast and lightfast. The use of natural dyes is especially attractive as these do not cost much, and therefore have become the chief means in dyeing yarn for weaving. Many weavers spin their own thread and some even grow the dye-stuffs that are used in producing cloth during the dry season. These include bark, leaves and a variety of plants.

As the demand for textiles made with natural dyes has increased world-wide, potential markets have emerged for the rural weavers. The need arose to perfect the dyeing techniques as well as market the finished products. In 1986 the Natural Dye Development Coordinating Committee was established, consisting of both Thais and expatriates from the public and private sector. Since then many workshops were held for weavers, particularly for those from the north and the northeast of Thailand.

Rose Marie is a long time resident of Thailand, and her mother-in-law, a native of the Northeast or Isan as it is known, was a famous textile designer. She stimulated Rose Marie's interest in hand woven textiles and supported her in starting her own textile business, Easan. Rose Marie was instrumental in forming the committee for the preservation and improved natural dyes in Thailand. She will explain their use and will bring woven examples on which these dyes have been used.

At the home of Ruth Gerson

200 Baht: members
300 Baht: non-members

Reservations by e-mail:

Ruth Gerson

Khun Bank at