Thailand’s Golden Triangle: Spun Silk at The Four Seasons Tented Camp

In the jungles of Thailand’s lush Golden Triangle, there’s an up-and-coming house of haute couture, but no… it’s not Karl Lagerfeld’s new Southeast Asian textile studio.  It’s a handful of designers at the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Northern Thailand. Overseeing the making of silk from start to finish and then dying the raw threads and weaving them into vibrantly coloured shawls, it’s a silk-worm farm run by the talented wives of the Four Seasons pro elephant drivers!

Golden Triangle ThailandIt all started when the crafty wives of the drivers, or mahouts, decided to find a way to augment their families’ livelihood. And so, they started hatching delicate silk worm eggs on paper towels soaked in sugar water. It’s not what you’d call high-tech, but it works.  A week to 10 days later when the eggs hatch, the hungry newborn critters start munching on mulberry leaves — their favourite snack. After molting four times, they enclose themselves in a silk cocoon. That’s where the wives come in; boiling the worms so they can unravel the silk threads before dying them. It’s no simple task: each worm produces one silk thread from 1,000 to 3,000 feet long.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

The intricate shawls that result from the wives’ handiwork are the perfect souvenir for Four Seasons guests who’ve spent their stay learning to train and ride the property’s elephants through verdant tropical paths. Proceeds from the shawls go to the mahouts’ families and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which assists in the conservation and care of domestic elephants.

So far, the women have sold more than 100 of these stylish stoles. To purchase one of these beautiful stoles or to make a reservation and watch these women in action, check out:


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