When Thai silk is mentioned, many of us can instantly imagine tasteful, beautiful textiles. It is produced year round in Thailand. Most production is after the rice harvest in the southern and northeastern parts of the country.
Wikipedia tells: Women traditionally weave silk on hand looms and pass the skill on to their daughters, as weaving is considered to be a sign of maturity and eligibility for marriage. Thai silk textiles often use complicated patterns in various colours and styles. Most regions of Thailand have their own typical silks. A single thread filament is too thin to use on its own so women combine many threads to produce a thicker, usable fiber. They do this by hand-reeling the threads onto a wooden spindle to produce a uniform strand of raw silk. The process takes around 40 hours to produce a half kilogram of silk. Many local operations use a reeling machine for this task, but some silk threads are still hand-reeled. The difference is that hand-reeled threads produce three grades of silk: two fine grades that are ideal for lightweight fabrics, and a thick grade for heavier material.
I took these pictures in a silk production showroom in Thai Silk Village in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Very educating visit.
Skillful hands are needed to weave the silk into fabrics (click to enlarge the images).