As someone who's always on the hunt for novel souvenirs of Thailand to give friends of mine living abroad, I tend to have my eyes peeled for objects of a more distinctive character. So many mass-produced "Thai" products feature elephants that the motif has been seriously done to death. Or else they're plastered with enough gold paint/dye to make any self-possessed local roll her/his eyes in exasperation.
Which is why I was extremely excited to recently stumble upon a cute and colourful shop called Khomapastr which is filled with products decorated with wonderfully vibrant patterns.
It turns out that, as far as shopping is concerned at least, I've been living in a black hole all these years. For Khomapastr is an esteemed brand that's been producing printed textiles since 1948 when the company was founded in Hua Hin by Prince Bovoradej. What's to love about these prints is they aren't stuffy, granny-ish or Thai in an archetypal way. Traditional designs have been rendered in bright, snazzy colours and the firm's more contemporary patterns are also playful and lots of fun.
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