The activity that should not be missed when you come to Phuket, is sightseeing around Phuket Old Town. Phuket Old Town is the area around Dibuk Road, Thalang Road, Krabi Road and Phang Nga Road. That area has old buildings in Sino-Portuguese style. For Thalang Road, you should not miss buying a famous souvenir of Phuket; sarong batik fabric.
Sarong batik fabrics sold at numerous shops on Thalang Road. Thalang Road is the centre of Phuket fabric stores. Today, I bring you to the Torakan fabric shop, to learn about sarong, batik fabric from P’Kan, the owner. Not only the batik story, but he also talks about various stories of Phuket tradition; Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya. (I forgot to mention, this shop has been open for more than 70 years)
As I saw in many stores, sarong batik fabric has a wide range of prices, starting from hundreds to thousands. (Some shops have a rare item, hand-painted by famous artists, the price is around tens of thousands) As I said, Sarong Batik had a wide range of prices, it is depending on the making process. A mould-printing fabric, a factory product, it is cheapest, it is in the hundreds of Baht. Because it is made from a factory, it will be able to print the same pattern over and over again in a big amount.
The price is a little more expensive, it is a batik fabric that uses mould-printing, but it is handmade printing, not factory processing. It is easier than drawing, there is the repetition of each pattern, but it’s considered to be handmade. And another higher-priced sarong batik fabric, it is a hand printing product, same method, but it is hand-printed with a small pattern and prints them together to become a big picture and paint.
The last one we can call it is an art, come at a high price. It is very popular with collectors because it is a hand drawing fabric. There is only one piece in the world, each piece of fabric will have different details, not the same. (If you try to draw over and over again, you will see that the drawing will not be the same 100%) This kind of sarong batik fabric will have some minor defects. It is the flow of colour, this defect is another point that the batik collector focuses on to separate that it is handmade of the factory product.
Batik cloth, in addition to drawing, there also bead embroidery designs. Prices for embroidery fabrics are more expensive than the original ones. But it is popular because when you wear it, it makes you look more elegant. Some of them are sparkle, blink – blink, very beautiful for the night time, the best value to buy.
Sarong batik is commonly worn with lace tops and pleated sleeve blouse in the Baba – Nyonya style. But for those who are inconvenient to dress in Baba – Nyonya style, nowadays there are many styles of modern design like a dress, skirt, pants for many occasions. You can buy a piece of fabric and bring it to your favourite tailor, or buy finished clothes in the shop on Thalang Road. On Thalang Road, there are many shops and many prices to choose from.
This is all for this article “Sarong Batik at Thalang Road, Phuket” and below are three interesting VIDEO clips of Khun Somyot Pathan. (The owner of Torakan fabric store) There are three separate video clips; the story of Sarong Batik, the evolution of Phuket dress and the wedding traditions of Phuket.