Woven Dialects


From September 10, 2024 Until March 28, 2024


Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles


Woven Dialects

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit The Queen Mother dedicated her life to working with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great to relieve poverty in Thailand. As part of this longtime effort, Her Majesty established the SUPPORT Foundation to help ordinary Thais in rural areas develop careers and increase their income, and to preserve indigenous cultural knowledge for younger generations. Her Majesty ‘s special interest in improving women’s lives naturally led her to crafts such as textiles, which fulfill all her goals of providing meaningful work, education, and income for countless rural women. SUPPORT textiles reflect the nation’s unique cultural heritage and the unity of style and materials found in each region. Moreover, Thais and foreigners alike are united in their appreciation of this rich art form.

In tribute to Her Majesty’s nearly half-century of work with the Foundation, this room features contemporary mixed-media artworks made from SUPPORT woven, dyed, and embroidered textiles from regions and peoples across Thailand. You can also see examples of each textile in its traditional form, along with equipment and tools used to make it, and a tutorial with step-by-step instructions showing how each textile is made. Taken all together, the items shown here highlight both the incredible variety of Thai textiles and the love and care with which generations of Thai women have made them.

A dialect is a version of a language that is spoken among people in a specific region or within a social group. In the same way, differences in cultural expression and heritage are embodied in each region’s traditional textiles. They embody a dialect in cloth.

Silapacheep, The SUPPORT Foundation name in Thai, means “To make a living through art.” The Foundation, which was founded in the 1970s, is rooted in the royal visits made across Thailand by Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother many years earlier. Her Majesty discovered that during lulls in the agricultural cycle or in times of economic hardship, local women would make and sell their distinctive regional textiles to earn extra money. Her Majesty’s encouragement of this practice led to her to found SUPPORT nearly 50 years ago. Through the Foundation, Her Majesty has actively supported the work of these women by offering training, materials, and design ideas, as well as guaranteeing a market for their products. Her Majesty’s patronage extended to the unprecedented act of wearing these beautiful regional textiles herself as an effective way of promoting them nationally and internationally.

The artworks in this gallery were created in gratitude for Her Majesty’s dedication. They stand as statements of their makers’ unity and support of one another in sustaining folk art and culture, and collective pride in being Thai.

Artist: Pleonchan (MookV) Vinyaratn, Beyond living