The Tilleke & Gibbins Textile Collection houses over 2,000 museum-quality textiles, representing both majority and minority ethnic groups in Southeast Asia, as part of our commitment to preserve and honor the cultures in which we are proud to live and work.
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The mission of our textile collection is to collect, display, and preserve the textiles, in proximity to the geographical area in which they were created. Fabrics from various ethnic groups constituting Thailand’s diverse peoples form the foundation of the collection, supplemented by textiles from neighboring countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam—plus some Indian and southern Chinese pieces for comparative study.
Originally starting with just 50 pieces, the wide selection of clothing types, ceremonial items, and domestic accessories now forms one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. Pieces from the collection are permanently on display in Tilleke & Gibbins’ Bangkok office, and we are also proud to regularly loan pieces to both local and international exhibitions. They can also be viewed by individual scholars and are available for educational events such as lectures and special activities.
Our textile storage room adheres to international museum standards for handling and maintaining a textile collection. It is windowless to prevent sunlight damage to the textiles, and is instead illuminated by LED lighting. Temperature and humidity are carefully controlled, and advanced air filtration and fire suppression systems are in place. It is also equipped with a special freezer (used to treat newly acquired pieces), storage trays that accommodate 20–30 textiles each, and materials such as acid-free tissue paper and Mylar, which are used for safely storing the textiles.
Tilleke & Gibbins’ Textile Collection
Interior design ideas become a museum-quality collection.
The Textile Collection began in 1987, when David Lyman chose to decorate the firm’s previous offices at the Tilleke & Gibbins Building and Tonson Building with traditional Southeast Asian textiles. The further acquisition of 78 rare textiles of museum quality from northeastern Laos four years later changed the initial objective of using textiles as permanent office decoration to creating a collection of textiles to preserve culture and educate the public.
Tilleke & Gibbins’ Textile Collection is now one of the largest and most impressive in Thailand, containing over 2,000 museum-quality Southeast Asian textiles representing the diverse cultures of Southeast Asia. A number of pieces are exhibited on the walls of the firm’s head office in Bangkok, with the demonstration pieces rotating regularly to make the collection’s many treasures available to viewers. The collection today is an affirmation of Tilleke & Gibbins’ deep connection to and support for the culture of our home region.
Textile Collection NEWS
On May 9, 2019, nine members of the exhibitions and installations team at the Royal Textile Museum of Bhutan visited the Tilleke & Gibbins Textile Collection as part of their itinerary to view Thailand’s notable textile and heritage collections. Wipawee Tiyawes, textile curator at Tilleke & Gibbins, first presented an overview of the collection, storage, maintenance, and display procedures, then led the group on a tour of the textile storage room and the textile wall displays on all seven floors of Tilleke & Gibbins’ office in Bangkok.
The Thai Textile Society has published a an article recounting a recent "Curator's Walk and Talk" event, hosted by Tilleke & Gibbins' Bangkok office, in the Fall 2018 edition of its newsletter.
Wipawee Tiyaws, curator of Tilleke & Gibbins' Textile Collection, will be giving a guided tour of exhibited pieces from the collection on Tuesday, April 24, in collaboration with the Thai Textile Society.
ANZWG, the Australian New Zealand Women’s Group Bangkok, has played a major part in the lives of many expatriate women residing in Bangkok for more than 50 years. In response to interest among the organization’s members in textiles and related cultural activities, the February/March issue of In Touch, ANZWG’s member newsletter, includes a story on Art of Southeast Asian Textiles: The Tilleke & Gibbins Collection.
Tilleke & Gibbins is proud to announce the publication of Art of Southeast Asian Textiles: The Tilleke & Gibbins Collection. Written by Dr. Linda S. McIntosh and published by Serindia Publications, this beautifully illustrated book highlights the museum-quality textiles that compose the Tilleke & Gibbins Textile Collection.