Jim Thompson was an American architect and businessman who was born in 1908. He volunteered to serve his country during WWII, and was stationed with the Office of Strategic Services in Bangkok at the the end of the war. Thompson fell in love with Thailand and its culture. He was largely responsible for revitalizing the Thai silk industry, and he helped to create an international demand for Thai silk products.
As an architect, Thompson was also very interested in Thai traditional architecture and artwork. He created a beautiful teak dwelling in the heart of Bangkok by relocating and reassembling several teak houses from the provinces into one large mansion, which he filled with priceless art and artifacts that he collected from the region. Thompson disappeared mysteriously one day in 1967 while out for a walk in the jungles of Malaysia.
Today, the name Jim Thompson is still associated with the finest Thai silk products available. His house in Bangkok is now open to visitors as a museum, and offers a place to learn about Thai silk. There is also a large gift shop selling all sorts of silk products. The Jim Thompson label makes Thai silk scarves, shirts, ties, pillow covers, picture frames, handbags, and much more. Whenever you buy a silk product with the Jim Thompson label, you can be sure that you’re purchasing the finest quality Thai silk available.
The Jim Thompson label produces a wide range of superior quality Thai silk merchandise. One product that makes a great gift for anyone on your holiday shopping list is a silk picture frame. These come in a range of colors and designs. Then, of course, one of the most popular silk items for men is a 100% silk necktie. In keeping with the Thailand theme, elephants are a very popular decorating pattern.
Jim Thompson also has a nice selection of sofa cushion covers or small pillow cases. These also make an excellent gift due to their small size which packs easily. They also make a line of larger square silk pieces using the same designs as the cushion covers. You can use these as a scarf or shawl by wrapping one around your neck or shoulders. Alternately, the large square cloth can make a great decorative covering for a table. It would also be possible to use one as a wall hanging. Most of these designs incorporate nature scenes or flowers, but elephants are also a possibility.
Handbags are another luxurious good that benefits from being made from 100% high quality Thai silk. Jim Thompson handbags come in a large variety of sizes from coin purses to shoulder bags. And like all of their other items, the colors and patterns come in many choices. Another nice gift item made by Jim Thompson are table cloth and napkin sets.
If you’re visiting Bangkok, all of these fine silk products can be found at one of the Jim Thompson retail shops. There are branches located in some of Bangkok’s largest shopping centers such as Siam Paragon, The Emporium, and Central World. Jim Thompson retail shops can also be found in the Four Seasons, the Oriental, and Shangri-La hotels. In addition, there’s a large shop located at Jim Thompson House. Tours of the house end at 5 pm, but the retail shop remains open until 9. If you have the time, a tour of Jim Thompson House is highly recommended. The large teak house is snuggled beneath some shady trees in a prime location right along one of Bangkok’s canals. You can imagine what the area may have looked like 55 years ago when the house was completed—before Bangkok became the concrete jungle that it is today.
And if you’re interested to learn more about Jim Thompson the man—and his strange disappearance—there are several books to dive into.