Artistry in Silk: The Royal Style of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit
features more than a dozen of Her Majesty’s designer ensembles made from hand-woven textiles produced by members of SUPPORT, Her Majesty’s charity dedicated to preserving Thai village weaving.
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit created the SUPPORT Foundation in 1976 to offer farmers and rural villagers, especially women, a regular supplement to their family income and to provide financial support during times of drought or flooding. An important consequence of this endeavor has been to preserve Thai textile traditions that were in danger of being lost. Although SUPPORT sponsors craft activity in a variety of media, it has been most active in the production of handwoven silk and cotton textiles. Today there are SUPPORT weaving centres throughout Thailand.
In the late 1970s, with the increasing success of SUPPORT, Her Majesty took the unprecedented step of promoting its weavers in a unique and personal way, creating a new style that fused Western high fashion with village-woven SUPPORT textiles. This decision was a natural extension of Her Majesty’s desire to instill pride in traditional craftsmanship and encourage both Thais and foreigners to recognize the value of Thailand’s indigenous weaving traditions.
Over the years, both Thai and European designers have created ensembles for Her Majesty’s many public appearances, domestic and international. Her Majesty’s efforts to promote the beauty and excellence of SUPPORT textiles when hosting heads of state at home or representing the country abroad have been so effective that SUPPORT silks are now emblematic of Thai identity throughout the world.