Phuket Textiles Shopping Guide

Thai Silk, Batik and Textiles

Thailand is famous for its silk and various grades of quality and suppleness can be found from different silk-manufacturing regions, mostly in the north and northeast. There are many textile and fabric outlets on the island and one local specialty is batik. Many upscale resorts have onsite textile outlets and others are scattered around the island - mostly in Phuket Town.


Thai Silk in Phuket

Thai Silk in Phuket

Thai silk producers who are mainly based in the north and northeast of the country have a lot to be proud of as their silk product is pretty much well-known around the world. Thai silk is famous for its high quality, unique colours and patterns and it also plays a key role in sustaining the local economy.

There was an old say among people of northwest Thailand, “If one is looking for a bride, go and see how good her silk looming skills are”. This shows silk has been an important part of ordinary life in Thailand since the old days, especially at the time of old-fashioned hand looming. In the past, silk was among the few items used for showing social status. Certain silk patterns and design were limited to only high-ranking people like royalty and nobility. Commoners would also wear silk but only for special occasions.

Thai silk is on the top of most visitors’ shopping lists. It is sold in a range of colours, and in various widths, lengths and thicknesses, or as bespoke products such as shirts, blouses, men's suits and ladies’ silk jackets, bedcovers and furnishings. Some of the most popular silk items in Phuket include handkerchiefs, scarves, pillow cases, photo frames, handbags, cosmetic bags and evening bags.

 

Where to Buy Thai Silk

Prices and quality vary greatly, but good-quality silk is easily found at major shopping centres in tourist areas around the island and tailor shops at major hotels. The most famous silk production company of all is, of course, Jim Thompson.

Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson's vision enabled the art of traditional Thai silk-making to expand beyond its own geographical borders, but more impressively beyond the realm of existing habitual motifs and colours. Jim Thompson brought influence into Thai silk, turning traditionally functional fabrics into fashion fabrics, accessories and home décor items. Time-honored heritage and innovation brought together and balanced in their own strengths of beauty and style. Jim Thompson currently has eight branches on the island including branches at:

  • Le Meridien Phuket (Patong Beach) - Tel: +66 (0) 76-292273
  • Hilton Phuket Arcadia (Karon Beach) - Tel: +66 (0) 76-286070
  • J.W. Marriott (Mai Khao Beach) - Tel: +66 (0) 76-338056
  • Blue Canyon Country Club (Near Airport) – Tel: +66 (0) 76-328088
  • Katathani Resort (Kata Beach) - Tel: +66 (0) 76-330010 Ext. 1913
  • Central Festival Phuket Department Store (Phuket Town) – next to Starbucks on the first floor
  • The Courtyard (Phuket Town) - Tel: +66 (0) 76-264468-9
  • Canal Village Phuket (Laguna Resort Complex, Bangtao Beach) – Tel: +66 (0) 76-304536-7

Night markets
In the night markets at Patong and other tourist areas around the island, mass-produced squares of woven silk similar in size to a sarong are sold by street vendors at very cheap prices. Although they are not the best quality silk to be bought, they are very pretty and great for gifts to take home. Also available at most markets are imported Chinese silk garments, which are an inexpensive but great gift to take home.

Around Phuket City there are a number of stores that sell good quality silk including:

China Inn
Location: 20 Thalang Road, Phuket Old Town
Tel: +66 (0) 76-356239

Oriental Pleasure
Location: 27 Rassada Road, opposite Thanachart Bank (the bright orange building)
Tel: +66 (0) 76-355439

Radsada Handmade
Location: 29 Rassada Road, Phuket City
Tel: +66 (0) 76-355439

Ban Boran Textiles
Location: 51 Yaowarat Road, Phuket City
Tel: +66 (0) 76-258249

Wassana Thai Silk
Location: Opposite Baan Boran Textile on Yaowarat Road
Tel: +66 (0) 81-5379515

Thana Manee Thai Silk
Location: A few minutes’ walk from the Old Siam Theatre food stands on Yaowarat Road
Tel: +66 (0) 81-5379515

Thai Silk Collection
Location: On Chaofa West Road, 150m from Wat Chalong

Cotton

A specialty of Northern Thailand, you'll find a basic selection of patterns and clothing around Phuket. Broad weave cotton shirts, pants and skirts are the perfect antidote to hot weather, and often breathe better than closely woven, fine silk. Small items like tablecloths, napkins and cushion covers in natural, modern colours make wonderful inexpensive gifts. Cotton homeware products are found in many of the night markets in tourist areas, and in the department stores.

You can buy Thai cotton clothing at Baan Boran and other Thai local boutiques along Yaoworat Rd in Phuket City. Prices are slightly higher than you would pay in Bangkok or in the North, but the quality is good. The Jim Thompson silk boutique also stocks Thai cotton products at its 8 locations around the island.

Where to Buy Cotton Fabrics

Cotton homeware products are found at many of the night markets and in the department stores. Alternatively, visit the following stores:

Baan Boran Textiles
You can buy Thai cotton clothing at Baan Boran and other local boutiques along Yaoworat Road in Phuket City. Prices are slightly higher than you would pay in Bangkok or in the North, but the quality is good.
Location: 51 Yaowarat Road, Phuket City
Tel: +66 76 258 249

Jim Thompson
The Jim Thompson silk boutique also stocks Thai cotton products at its eight locations around the island.

Batik in Phuket

The brilliant colours of Phuket's tropical surroundings can be captured and taken home in the form of batik made right here on the island. Sarongs, shirts, bags, pictures and light clothing decorated with patterns evoking themes and colours from the rainforest and sea are available here for keen shoppers.

Where to Buy Batik in Phuket

Visitors will find many small stores around Patong, Rawai and Phuket City selling colourful batiks.

Phuket Batik
Starting about 20 years ago at a shop-house located inside Vanich Plaza along Loungpho Road in Phuket Town, Phuket Batik relocated to Samkong, a busier area, and not far from Bangkok Phuket Hospital.
Location: Next to Bank of Ayudhya on Yoawarat Road (Samkong area).
Tel: +66 (0) 76-211849

Chai Batik Phuket
Chai Batik is owned by national award-winning artist Chai Chansongsang. The shop offers both ready-to-wear products as well as made-to-order items.
Location: Opposite Muk Phuket Pearl Shop on Chaofa East Road
Tel: + 66 (0) 76-354099  

Batik House (Baan Batik)
Every piece of batik here is designed by house artists, so the work is more original than you’ll see in many batik shops in the market.
Location: Next to Bangjak gas station, about two kilometres from the Chalong Circle going towards Rawai.
Tel: +66 (0) 76-384061

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