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Asian RoyalsThailand

Princess Sirivannavari combines old and new for one of her lifelong passions

Picture by Bureau 233 / i-Images

Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya of Thailand presided over the official opening of the new structure of Donkoi Sustainable Village, a centre that will teach a modernised version of traditional dyeing techniques. 

On Monday, 23 January, the Princess travelled to Sakon Nakhon to officially inaugurate the new centre, which was opened following a previous visit made by the royal to the area in November 2020, during which she suggested how to improve the technique. 

Her Royal Highness stayed almost two hours in the village, speaking with locals and taking part in a long tour of the facility. She even appeared in a Facebook Live that the community was hosting to sell the products created in the village. 

During her tour, she has a chance to see some of the local villagers’ works as they were displayed for sale. She was heard praising them, saying, “I really love your products. They look great,” according to local media. 

The Princess has long been involved in the preservation of the art of indigo dyeing, a passion that she inherited from her grandmother, Queen Sirikit, who was also very fond of weaving. 

The Donkoi Sustainable Village was born as a learning centre to discuss “local wisdom and modern waving and dyeing techniques,” according to official sources. Many of those techniques were suggested by the Princess herself in her previous visit to the area and the previous building hosting the village. 

One of the most lucrative changes was the creation of more modern patterns for traditional garments, which dramatically improved sales of the village’s products all over Thailand. 

This increase in sales was made possible in part also thanks to improved dyeing techniques that have allowed not only for a more efficient production process for the weaving materials but also for a widening of the range of shades of indigo that local workers can produce. 

Princess Sirivannavari is the only daughter that King Vajiralongkorn shares with his second wife, Sujarinee; her mother took all of her children to the United States, but her father ordered that she be taken and brought back to Thailand. Her brothers remained in the United States. She studied fashion in Europe and competed for Thailand in both badminton and as an equestrian.  

The Princess has one older sister and a younger brother in Thailand through her father’s other marriages.