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Author Topic:   textiles from Lao?
chris vissers posted 3/28/02 4:53 PM     Click here to send email to chris vissers  
In the past I bought in Bangkok some beautiful textiles, with symmetric diamond shapes in 4-5 colors. The seller claimed it came from Lao. Because this item interests me, I would soon (May) like to return and find my way in Lao. Can you please advise where "the place to be" is for silk and cotton textiles that you can use as a wallcarpet? I read about various weaving villages. Are there indeed that many and do you need to visit them seperately to check their textiles, or can you find mixed collection in larger centers? Thanks for your reply!Best regards, Chris Vissers - Belgium
posted 4/11/02 8:38 PM       Click here to send email to Pamela
So far I have not been able to explore Laos - although I am keen to do so. I have spent some time searching the web looking for travel links which have a textile/minorities focus but so far with no luck. Based on my experience elsewhere I would say that it is not easy to find weaving centres or villages where you can easily find the textiles!The Textile Society of Hong Kong publish a book on textile shops and museum collections for Asian textiles. They mention shops in Luang Praband and Vientiane. Two mentioned with email addresses are: Mr Keomontree Duangbupha Lao Antique Textiles Colelction in Luang Prabang keomontree@hotmail.com, Carol Cassidy - Lao Textiles. She has played a key role in the redevelopment of modern Lao weaving and her workshop produces high end museum quality, modern pieces using traditional motives. ccassidy@loatel.com good luck!
margaret posted 4/14/02 12:53 AM     Click here to send email to margaret  
Chris may like to contact patricia cheeseman in chaing mai, thailand my friend takes tours to thailand especially for textiles - and patricia is the tour leader the trip I went on visited vientianne and luang prabang - in vientianne we visited a weaving school - the teacher won an award in Europe for her fine weaving - inlay my special field is shibori.
posted 4/14/02 2:50 PM     Click here to send email to Pamela  
Thanks Margaret for this contribution to the forum. What would be the best way to contact Patricia Cheeseman? A web search brings up information on articles/books which Patricia has written/contributed to.(By the way, the minor edits to your message was to separate words. This forum has a bad tendency of linking words together at line breaks for some reason!) Pamela
Jon posted 4/23/02 0:05 AM     Click here to send email to Jon  
Nearly 10 years ago I visited Luang Prabang as part of a delegation. We were taken to a weaving village only a few miles outside where a large group of women had assembled in an open market hall to sell their cloth to us. I can't remember the name of the village now, but it was certainly well-known and I'm quite sure it would be easy to find. Another good contact used to be the Lao Women's Union which ran classes for women throughout Laos and promoted micro projects including weaving. I'm sure they are contactable in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Similarly UNESCO would be worth contacting to see if they are supporting projects. Tha Kek, opposite Nakhon Phanom, used to have stalls selling antique cloth in the market. I have one from their hanging on my wall behind me!

posted 4/24/02 9:11 PM     Click here to send email to Pamela  
Thanks, Jon for the helpful info. I think, from the research I have been carrying out recently, that the weaving village near Luang Prabang is Ban Phanom. Hunting around the internet I found the following info (which I can't unfortunately attribute as I did not record the source) - "Renowned for the unique hand-weaving cotton and silk of Thai Lu, the village (of Ban Phanom) is only 4 kilometers away from Luang Prabang airport. It is an ideal place to explore how beautiful piece of hand-woven cloth is made, for villagers are more than pleased to demonstrate their work on hand looms to visitors." Margaret has also been in touch with me and given me an email address for Patricia Cheeseman in Chiang Mai but I don't like to post it publicly here without her permission. I plan to seek her advice and I will share it with this forum in due course.Any other textile travel info for Laos gratefully received. Pamela
chris vissers posted 4/25/02 10:35 AM     Click here to send email to chris vissers  
Thank you all for your replies.I contacted Patricia Cheeseman ('s daughter) in Chiang Mai already, thanks for carol cassidy's email. Both are obvious "leading" names in quality handloom textiles so for sure I want to meet both of them. I only would like to now their price range before I leave here in Belgium. My planning for May is: Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Vientiane - Luang Prabang - Ban Phanom (weekend market). Thanks again for all the tips, I'll try to keep you posted! Best regards, Chris.
sharon posted 6/28/02 10:23 PM     Click here to send email to sharon  
message for Chris: I collect Laotian and Thai textiles, and have sourced many personally on trips to Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Chaing Mai. Although this may be too late for you (since you said you will travel in May and it is now June), I hope you did not get taken by a Lao Princess who has a very upscale textile shop in Vientiane. I don't recall the name, but it is very wellknown. Unfortunately, after having bought one great looking textile for several hundred US dollars, I returned to my SE Asian home to find that it was not antique as claimed but a copy. A friend of mine is an expert and was asked to consign-sell one exactly like it - the pieces were obviously woven on the same loom./ Anyway, the Princess refused to take the textile back or refund any money. So - beware of her!!
posted 8/8/02 9:56 PM     Click here to send email to Pamela  
I have recently compiled a web page pulling together some mainly textile related information on Laos at: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Countries/Laos.htm Please either post here on this thread or a new one or email me on the comments links on the website if you have further tribal textile related information to share. Thanks, Pamela
Pascale posted 3/7/03 7:59 AM     Click here to send email to Pascale
In Southern Lao on the Mekong in Champassak province there is a tradition of weaving on cotton symmetrical diamond shape patterns, often with 3 colours (black or solid colour background, yellow or white typically for the main diamond, and another bright colour for the centre square of each diamond). I bought a sarong of this pattern in a village in the neighbouring Attapeu province, in Senamsai market place. When I wear the sarong when I go back to Laos, many people havent' seen such a pattern, and note how striking it is. Some people ask me if I bought it in southern Laos, so some do know its origin.
  posted 3/9/03 6:00 PM     Click here to send email to Pamela
Pascale, do you have any photos of your sarong? If you do but don't have anyway to link to the web do email to me and I will put on page and link. If you don't have a digital camera a scan of a photo would be OK if you have access to a scanner. Pamela
posted 13/05/03 9:11 PM     Click here to send email to Pamela  

Following Chris' trip in 2002 he is now importing handwoven silk textiles directly from tribal weavers throughout South East Asia including Laos. See his collection of fashion, designer, furnishing items and shawls at http://www.pbase.com/zoa

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