Lao weaving

In Laos, we are working with weavers whose mission is to keep alive traditional silk weaving techniques. Common traditional colors and dye stuffs chart These weavers are training a new generation, passing on invaluable knowledge about patterns and natural dyes. Each region and ethnic group has its own silk weaving tradition, focused on practical pieces for daily life, including wrap around skirts (pha sin); shoulder cloths (pha baeng); and baby carriers (pha tai luuk).
Our Lao fabric is dyed with natural products including roots, bark, leaves, flowers and seeds. Production of natural dyes is extremely labor intensive. One fascinating dyestuff is the lacquer resin produced by the Coccus lacca insect. The crushed lacquer is combined with tamarind to make a vibrant red. Many plant dyes require an acid or ash additive to make the dye permanent.

map of Vietnam
raw silk annato plant photo of weaver
Skeins of raw silk in a Vientiane market Annato Seeds
(photo courtesy Tien Chiu)
Heddle frame loom
(photo courtesy Tien Chiu)