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Thai Silk, Bangkok

Thailand's insider take:

Ever since American adventurer and architect Jim Thompson, put Thai silk on the map, Bangkok has enjoyed a bustling trade in the sumptuous fabric and silk specialty shops abound in the city. You'll be in silk heaven here, where hundreds of colors and patterns can be purchased for everything from garments to upholstery. As well as silk clothing, the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Shop also sells leather goods, cushions, cosmetic bags, and picture frames. Orchids decorate this four-floor emporium, and there's even a colonial-style café on the first level (9 Surawong Rd.; 66-2-632-8100; In the same district you'll find Anita Thai Silk, a shop that sells affordable silk and cotton fabrics by the meter, along with a variety of other silk goods including photo frames, cushion covers and bags. Stop here for custom clothing made to order in three days time (294/4-5 Silom Rd.; 66-2-234-2481; Standard silks and off-the-rack outfits in styles that cater to a Western clientele can also be found at Mama Michelle, as can the usual silk goods and flowers made out of the soft stuff (348 Sukhumvit; 66-2-653-1033).

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Thai silk

If Jim Thompson prices scare you try any major tailors, but bargain cos the Indians who run them can charge quite high.A good shop in Suriwong road is Savile Row... more