INTRODUCTION

 

Situated in the Southeast Asia region, Cambodia is a country with a long history of great culture and tradition. Khmer’s silk weaving dates back to Angkor times. During the Angkorian period silk fabrics were used by Angkorians to dress statues of divinities and trade commodities. As example this craft is clearly apparent on the artistic skirts of the Apsara on the walls of Angkor Wat and other temples across Cambodia. Motifs and symbols on woven silks were recorded on old stone sculptures. This tradition was passed down from generations to generations.

Traditional silk clothes, which are popular in wedding ceremonies, traditional festivals and royal ceremonies, have long been used by ordinary people, low and high-ranking officials and the king.

  

 

Khmer people could weave many kinds of silk products with different decorative patterns, such as lboeurk, preleat, anlounh (checkered cloth), krama (scarf), sarong sotr (silk sarong), chorabab, soeng, hol, phamuong, pidan (used in Buddhist ceremonies) in magnificent colors, which were extracted from trees and other materials.

However during the nearly three decades of civil wars and political strife, Khmer’s silk yarn production decline tremendously. In 1960’s Khmers produced 150 tons of silks per year. In 2000’s Khmers produced about six tons per year. It is because mulberry plantations were not well revived when many skilled weavers perished during the wars.

WE REVIVE TRADITIONAL WEAVING METHODS AND NATURAL DYEING TECHNIQUES

KHMER ARTISANRY has become more concerned about the significance of cultural pride. For the last few years we have worked closely with weavers in Kampong Thom, Kampong Speu, Kampong Cham and Takeo provinces to give a new lease of life to natural dyeing and hand-women silk fabrics and scarves.

IKAT TECHNIQUE

Kiedh is a skein of silk which weavers tie for dyeing, in English called Ikat. The process involves dyeing only certain segments of the yarn. To do so, our dyers need to wrap those parts that are to remain undyed. Traditional patterns and lanterns on silk rely heavily on the ikat technique. Our weavers have their own special technique to do that. White kiedh was first dyed with red, then with yellow and lastly with blue. To tie the kiedh our weavers use banana sheeth or nylon. Ikat process and weaving are one of the most complicated and time consuming ways to pattern cloth. 

 

(Ikat tying and cutting by our young weavers at a Khmer Artisanry Weaving Community in Takeo)

THE PROCESS OF IKAT SILK DYEING

After the certain segments of the yarn are wrapped the silks are ready to be dyed into colours. The process of silk dyeing involves four main stages which are washing, extraction, bleaching and etching.

THE PROCESS OF SILK WEAVING

To weave silk, our traditional weavers need several tools including handlooms, shuttles, spinning and reeling devices...

 

HERE ARE JUST SOME OF OUR KHMER TRADITIONAL IKAT SILK BABRICS
RECOMMENDED FOR TAILORING INTO CLOTHES, DRESSES, TIES, BED SHEETS, HANGINGS...
(AVAILABLE FOR RETAIL AND WHOLESALE ORDER)

SHOULD YOU WISH TO OBTAIN A FULL CATALOG OF OUR PRODUCTS
INCLUDING SILK FABRICS, SILK BAGS, SILK SCARVES AND OTHER ITEMS MADE FROM SILK,
PLEASE CONTACT US VIA THIS EMAIL AT info@khmerartisanry.com or khmerartisanry@hotmail.com
 
 

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