Sorghum Brushes | The Process
In the Mae Suai district of Chiang Rai province, Thailand, is a broom and brush workshop surrounded by mountains and greenery. In the workshop, more than 30 artisans create brooms, each specialising in their own process. Many of the artisans have been working with Baan Boon Brooms for more than 20 years. “It’s a small village, so everyone knows each other,” says Boonnita Vivatananukul, the daughter of founder Somboon Vivatananukul.
Boonita joined the family business in 2019 and works closely with workshop manager Sakorn Boonla and senior artisans Janta Phromphan and Kiat Fongkham. Kiat creates the most challenging designs. “She can make the impossible possible,” says Boonita. The three have been working with her since 1992.
To create the brooms, first the sorghum grass is graded and sorted. The correct length of sorghum is chosen for each broom, reducing the amount that needs to be trimmed off. After being boiled, dyed and rinsed, the sorghum will dry in the sun. The neem wood handles are cut and rounded off, before the sorghum is bundled together. Finally, a leather hanging loop is added to the braided handle.