Creating Innovative Textile Substitutes from the Use of ‘Soil’

Text by Dr. Khajornsak Nakpan


The Inspiration

Inspiration and the aspiration to enhance the value and worth of limited resources derive from the profound influence of 'His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great'—a paragon of revitalizing deteriorated or seemingly valueless resources into fertile and abundant sources. This serves as the inspiration behind the project: “Creating Innovative Textile Substitutes from the Use of ‘soil.’"

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej stated in his royal guidance that, '...development means creating stability and progress. National development leads to the prosperity of communities and, fundamentally, the essence of this development is the dedicated intention to ensure the safety, prosperity, and happiness in the lives of every individual.’

Prosperity must encompass both material well-being and spiritual flourishing, which are interdependent. Material prosperity relies on intellectual factors, scientific knowledge, and knowledgeable individuals, while spiritual well-being depends on artistic and cultural factors. Both factors, once established, nurtured, and manifested, require individuals who uphold the principles of art and morality as their foundation.

In addition, inspiration also stems from the royal guidance of Her Royal Highness Princess Srinagarindra, The Princess Mother of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. She, in her royal wisdom, conveyed to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the profound significance of the royal name "ภูมิพล" (Bhumibol), translating to "Power of the Land."

"...In truth, our name 'ภูมิพล,' which translates to 'Power of the Land,' signifies the desire to be grounded, just like the land. When you hear these words, upon reflection, my mother must have taught us and intended to convey the idea of staying connected to the land and working for the benefit of the people…" (Danai Chanchaochai, 2014)

Extend the Effects to Substitute Textiles

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great devoted himself tirelessly, engaging in profound contemplation and integrating modern science with traditional wisdom. He became an exemplar of the harmonious synthesis between philosophical principles and innovation. The project "Innovative Creation of Textile Alternatives Using Soil" synthesized bio-mulberry fiber as a substitute textile material, designed for the creation of future blankets. This initiative emerged from the aforementioned visionary concept.

Expanding on the study of the fertility cycle and altering the properties of "soil" into a generally available mineral state through experimentation, the process includes synthesizing natural fibers (or valuable biodegradable cellulose) and melanin pigments from high-quality soil bacteria, thereby creating textile substitutes. This technology is environmentally friendly, producing no toxic residues or pollution. The aim is to develop alternative textile materials that are both body-friendly and wearable. Once they have served their purpose or reached the end of their life cycle, these materials can be decomposed and returned to nature.

A Newfound Connection

If the attire of the future human is meticulously crafted through the fusion of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy and cutting-edge textile innovations, it transcends its basic functions of providing bodily protection or conveying messages related to the wearer's status or personal image. It transforms into a medium that not only communicates the wearer's identity but also embodies a profound sense of self-respect. As individuals touch and perceive their intrinsic value through the interaction with innovative materials, it acts as a catalyst, infusing vitality into the sustainable design that mirrors human wisdom. Like a spherical mirror, it brilliantly illuminates humanity's perspective on its inherent value, vivid and radian

World Soil Day

Truly embodying the essence of a monarch "immersed in the soil," His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej garnered global recognition. The United Nations acknowledged his efforts by designating December 5th, his birthday, as "World Soil Day" and declaring 2015 as the "International Year of Soils." This tribute commemorates his significant contributions to soil resource management and his unwavering royal initiatives supporting it, both nationally and internationally acknowledged. In April 2012, he posthumously received the title "Humanitarian Soil Scientist," a groundbreaking honor, from the International Union of Soil Sciences (United Nations, 2013).


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