So you love silk. Chances are you will look to Thailand known for its intricate and centuries old expertise in all things silk thanks to Jim Thompson. You will find quite some companies that might fit your needs and one among them is perhaps Chivalry Silk. In hindsight, I can now say the really good ones do not have a website at all, some not even email, you need to travel there and visit them.
Anyway, Chivalry Silk’s website is simple but pretty well done. The ‘Brocaded Silk Lanna Style‘ Pdf is soothing to the eye and if you are into silk brocade you might think this is the ticket. At least that’s what I did after some due consideration knowing fully well, you should never hurry when considering to order from Asia.
To cut the story short, I contacted them again regarding the design I wanted and the size specifications, lead time, mode of shipping etc. I even told them that I was interested in a continuing business relationship and that more orders would come if this one turns out positively.
Things looked good and I decided to place an order for this design and color.
Lead time given was 12 days and after 20 days I inquired about the shipping date. Surprisingly I was told that they forgot to tell that dying the silk would take another eight days. Which is like telling a car buyer that in order to get the car with wheels would take eight more days.
Finally I received a parcel July 1; no email announced it and no airway bill number was given prior to shipment! Not exactly professional conduct.
Upon opening the Fedex parcel the first surprise was the box! It said “www.lumphun.com” on the box, not Chivalry Silk. Now outsourcing production is not uncommon and I usually do not mind as long as the merchandise is what you ordered.
I opened the box and what I saw was not a shining golden yellow silk brocade, but a brown fabric totally unrelated to what had been ordered and fully paid for (see pic of brown silk brocade below). To be fair though, the quality was good.
It then turned out that the design of the weave had been shifted 90 degrees clockwise. CS had given me a different design composition (with a reference picture with measurements) before I ordered.
It did not stop here. I had ordered a silk brocade of 180 x 110 cm. CS delivered a brocade of 180 x 100 cm! This together with the clockwise shift completely nixed the intended use of the cloth and I had to compromise in order to get the maximum use out of the material.
And respond it did, in the typical way of crooks: Bait and switch
CS offered me a discount if I were to order the ‘Antique Collection’ which can cost a couple of thousand dollars according to their website!! So here I was, unsatisfied with an order of $322 and CS offers me a discount if I send a couple of thousand dollars … and perhaps get disappointed again.
I dug a little deeper on Google and found the digs they are operating from: it’s the Thammasat University in Bangkok!
My dealings were with a Ms. or Mrs. Ongchun Tan (Marketing Manager).
I believe the Thai silk tradition is too precious to be defiled by a crooks company like “Chivalry Silk” appears to be.