Donkoi Model, a record of knowledge model for complete product development,
to revive and bring the indigenous wisdom into the contemporary era, for the sustainability of the community way.
published : 23 Nov 2021 at 15:08
The traditional weaving of Thailand is important to HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, she has, therefore, traveled around the country to view and study the woven products and community handicrafts.
Donkoi’s Indigo Weaving Group, in Phanna Nikhom district of Sakon Nakhon, in the Northeast, catches her attention with their wisdom of producing fabrics from natural fibers and dyes, and their ability to earn extra income apart from growing rice which is their main occupation. Thus, HRH the Princess aims to turn this community into a national model for fabric quality development, and consequently the Donkoi Model project took form.
In response to HRH the Princess’s vision, and to the 2020 data of OTOP manufacturers and entrepreneurs that over 30,000 of them require developmental support to meet the international standard and to widen both domestic and international markets, especially in the categories of fashion & apparel, upholstery & household fabrics, and handicrafts, so the Community Development Department (CDD), Ministry of Interior, led then by Mr. Sutthipong Juljarern (now Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior), envisions a strategy to systematically develop the weaving community model in order to satisfy the need of the targeted markets, especially the high-income consumers who enjoy natural fiber products and good clothing brand names at the same time. As a result, Premium OTOP products become the objective in order to draw the attention of the affluent consumers, and to raise Thai clothing brands to the international status. All the details and results of the process have been gathered in this bilingual book “DONKOI MODEL” (Thai-English), available in both paper and digital editions.
The book DONKOI MODEL is also created under the concept of “Fun with Thai Fabrics” of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya, in which branding and storytelling are involved to add more value to the end products and more sustainability to the rural manufacturers and entrepreneurs.
Inside DONKOI MODEL is the story about the various cultures of indigo blue and how different civilizations used the color, about indigo-yielding plants worldwide, and how the indigo dyeing technique was brought into the Northeast of Thailand and the province of Sakon Nakhon by the ethnic immigrants in the early Ratanakosin era. The book recounts the founding and expansion of Donkoi village in Sakon Nakhon before talking about the 4 community groups that join the Donkoi Model project. It then explains about the natural dyes and various dyeing methods newly revived from the indigenous memory, but had not been as widely practiced as the indigo dyeing. All the relevant color groups and tones are illustrated so the reader can see which color is derived from which plant and which part. It moves next to indigo plants, describing the species grown in the kingdom, the cultivation, care, the harvest, the fermentation, oxygenation, sedimentation, and the preservation of the precious indigo paste; how to prepare an indigo dye vat, with details of ash water and bark water preparations, including care of the dye vat and the vat restoration. Only natural materials are used in all the process mentioned, for instance, Pisang Awak plaintain, sugar cane, and ripe tamarind pulps are used in restoring the vat. The step-by-step indigo dyeing method is also shown, together with 10 indigo pantones.
Fibers utilized at Donkoi are mentioned, such as cotton and rayon, including the reason why rayon is used. The traditional fiber preparation process is illustrated, too, with descriptions of each weaving tool, weft and warp preparations, and weaving process. Donkoi possesses its own traditional motifs, all of which are shown in DONKOI MODEL, recounting the origin of each motif. The new motifs developed from the traditional ones are shown as well, resulting from the exchange of knowledge and experience between the experts and the 4 community groups. The newly created fabrics simultaneously showcase the new color schemes of the natural dyes, in order to make the products more contemporary. HRH the Princess’s perspective on Donkoi’s traditional motifs and the new fabrics produced in accordance with her suggestions are recorded next. Following it is the fashion collection of the new brand “Donkoi Sakon” by top designers of Thailand, using the fabrics from Donkoi Model project. The concept of each designer behind his or her collection is provided. Finally, the book portrays the details behind the branding of “Donkoi Sakon,” its logo and packaging, etc. The digital QR codes are incorporated into the book as well, conveniently providing direct access to the merchandises for all buyers.
Besides exhibiting the remarkable work of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya in fashion design, textile design, and preserving traditional Thai fabrics, the Donkoi Model project also generates 10 times higher income for the community groups involved: from the monthly THB700 per household to THB7,000, supporting themselves through the past pandemic crisis.
Donkey Model Book
The Bureau of Local Wisdom and Community Enterprise Promotion,
Community Development Department, Ministry of Interior
Donkey Model Book