The Jim Thompson House: Savior of Thai Silk
The Jim Thompson House is the home of James H.W. Thompson, a self-made American entrepreneur, founder of the Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company. Today, the house is a museum for all to visit. Thompson's achievements during his 25 year stay in the Kingdom of Thailand have won him the title "Legendary American of Thailand". For his contribution to the Thai Silk industry, Jim Thompson was awarded the Order of the White Elephant, a decoration bestowed upon foreigners for having rendered exceptional service to Thailand.
With the advent of industrialization, ever-increasing demand for machine-made textiles dealt a devastating blow to traditional silk weaving. Thompson’s deep love for the culture, way-of-life, and art of Thailand persuaded him to save this dying craft. He was confident that the brilliance and distinctive qualities of Thai silk would draw significant interest overseas. He was right. Once Thai Silk made its way to the cover of Vogue Magazine, it became an instant hit. In 1948, The Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company was born.