Design fair STYLE provided an excellent platform for exhibitors of furniture, fashion, houseware and other lifestyle products to meet buyers and consumers from across the world. At this edition of STYLE, held at BITEC in Bangkok from April 19 to 23, Thai textile and garment manufacturers were at the forefront, with dozens of exhibitors demonstrating their versatility and sophisticated designs.
One such company, Torboon, established five years ago in the Northern capital of Chiang Mai, stood out with its handwoven patterns made from cotton and contemporary designs, with just a dash of colour.
“Our products are different from others in the market in many aspects, from our textile weaving methods to the quality of cotton and leather used in making the bags,” said Boontavee ‘Boon’ Charoenpoonsiri, founder of Torboon. “For every collection, we will develop new patterns that best reflect the textile, and produce our own designs.”
According to Charoenpoonsiri, the popularity of Torboon’s bags stems from their design, as they can be used as everyday bags that appeals to both younger and older generations. The bags are also water repellent while retaining the look and feel of natural cotton and leather.
“I try to differentiate the brand’s products,” she says. “All our textile weaving and manufacturing is done in Doi Saket in Chiang Mai, and due to the complicated process, it is not easy to expand our production capacity because of the limited number of craftspeople.”
In recent years, Chiang Mai has become a hub for international designers looking for unique and natural textile made by locals as well as hill-tribes, thus, Charoenpoonsiri believes the city is a good location to do business in the textile industry. Moreover, handwoven textiles have a sensory quality that cannot be replicated by any machine-woven textile.
“The worldwide trend now leans towards eco-friendly products that are long-lasting and create the least waste,” Charoenpoonsiri says. “By using traditional hand-weaving techniques, the local culture, that is deeply engrained in Chiang Mai, is preserved. Also, the unique nature of the materials adds texture to the end product. I think that’s why buyers and customers keep coming back for more of our bags.”
Torboon’s bags are now sold in specialty stores around the world, including in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Seoul, Taipei, Cotignac and Oberstdorf.
For more information, visit www. torboonchiangmai.com
Words by Pimsirinuch Borsub