Ok, way back in January, I promised to post on embroidery in Vietnam, but I decided it was way more fun to contine on the theme of weaving. I hope you don’t mind.
Three Stone Steps get the majority of its silk–and all its cotton products–from Cambodia, and, most of this is from Takeo Province, which is about two hours by car from the capital of Phnom Penh. Some of the silk we carry from the province is found in the Angkor shoulder bag, and in the luxurious silk scarf in two tones. And, this Spring, Three Stone steps will have new products from Takeo silk: scarves, in a mixture of organza and raw silk, in fantastic colors, of course, and new colors and patterns for the Angkor shoulder bag, with matching wallets to boot. But, as usual, I get carried away and digress.
Anyway, the silk weaving process in Takeo is very different from that found in Vietnam–as seen in the post below–since in Cambodia, almost all weaving is done by hand, whereas in Vietnam, much is done by machine. As you might imagine, this is what makes silk woven in Cambodia some of the finest in the world, and makes it more expensive than the textile found in Vietnam.
But, on to the silk weaving photos:
This is what the silk looks like before anything is done to it. Sadly (and, vegans, avert your eyes now!) I haven’t seen the entire process, starting with the silk worm eating the mulberry leaves thing, but I do know that neither Thailand or Cambodia have much of a sericulture culture. In fact, most of the silk woven in those countries comes from the sericulture village in Vietnam. (And, that’s on the list for the next trip.)
So, this silk is lovely, but it can be lovelier by being dyed. In Cambodia, it’s done by hand, and here’s a bit of the process:
In caes you were wondering, it’s being dyed a lovely deep aubergine.
More steps in the silk process include spinning the silk threads on to bobbins.
And, please not the bicycle tire rim used as part of the weaving process. A great example of reuse, the second law in the reduce/reuse/recycle mantra.
And, of course, the weaving:
Lone weaver.Working together to fix the warp.
And, some of the finished product:
Ready for market or for Three Stone Steps most discerning customers!