Visit to the Textile Museum at the Bank of Thailand
Textiles and the National Economy
Historically, textiles have been part of the revenue collected by the Thai monarchs from neighboring countries when they were under Thai rule such as Cambodia and Laos in the 15th and 19th centuries respectively. Tributes were also made to the monarchy in the form of textiles from provincial districts in Thailand which were called Muang. In turn, the Thai monarchs would reward their officers and noblemen with gifts of textiles, or even in lieu of their salaries. Particular textiles were designated to court use only, civil servants would be required to wear certain types of cloth to attend functions in the royal court, most of which they received from the monarch. Meanwhile, ordinary people wove their own fabric or exchanged textiles from neighbouring provinces. In the case of imported textiles, until the beginning of this century, the royal court controlled all imported textiles and arranged for certain qualities to be made available to the general public.