KRAMA BASETH or KRAMA DHLEAH [DHLEAH or BASETH SCARVES]

(One of our most senior and great weavers at work in Baseth, Kampong Speu)

 

Krama = checked scarf
Dhleah = a plant for dyeing
Baseth = an impoverished district of Kampong Speu province

Apart from silks, we also promote the hand-made Dhleah cotton checked scarf (locally known as Krama Dhleah or Krama Baseth naming after the district).

Baseth villagers and weavers normally dyed their cotton Krama in Dhleah. For that reason, the Krama is popularly known as Krama Dhleah [Krama dyed in Dhleah]. And since only villagers of Baseth weaved and dyed their cotton Krama in Dhleah, their Krama is named after the district: Krama Baseth in Khmer or Baseth Krama in English.

As part of our mission, we brought a sample of the Baseth scarf whenever we visited a different weaving community across Cambodia. Each time we asked those weavers if they could produce the same scarf as the one produced by the Baseth weavers. Surprisingly there was a common confession those weavers had to make. They could not do that. The uniqueness and patterns of Baseth scarf cannot be reproduced by other weavers outside Baseth district. 

 (The scarf on the far left is the authentic and very original Krama Baseth whereas the rest is the derivation of the original flavor but still maintains its unique locality of Baseth weavers. All are available exclusively at Khmer Artisanry.) 

Years ago being inspired by the very distinctiveness and uncommon larger size of this Krama [size: 92cm x 1.9m, normal Khmer checked scarf is 60cm x 1.85m or smaller], we visited Baseth district of Kampong Speu. It was also part of our fact finding mission about this weaving tradition.

At first we were intrigued to talk to a few weavers who were proud to talk to us about their craft. Though their village stands among the most impoverished of Cambodia and they are poor and desperate, their skills in producing Krama Dhleah is uniquely rich and very traditional.

Nonetheless, we were brokenhearted to the news that even though people kept weaving Krama Dhleah no one revived the tradition in dyeing their Krama in Dhleah anymore. They abandoned the natural dyeing techniques and resorted to dyeing their crafts in chemicals instead. They said the latter was less time consuming, more convenient, easy, and cheap. The implications of chemical dyes being dumped into our streams and rivers have been taken for granted. Nonetheless it was ethically improper to put blame on them for their ignorance of the significant impact of cultural loss resulted from the abandonment of this custom. They were just too vulnerable, frustrated and helpless. Being mindful of that among other things we thought we had to do something to help revive the tradition.

SUCCESSFULLY WE CAN REVIVE KRAMA THLEAH

Now we work with our weavers to produce naturally dyed Baseth scarves. They are now very proud to revive the tradition. Over time, they become more creative. We love diversification while preserving the traditional flavors. With that we can produce more traditional scarves.

(Baseth scarves are proudly used by the local villagers of Baseth district)

TRADITIONAL KHMER IKAT COTTON SCARVES, 100% COTTON, 100% NATURALLY DYED

Never before had patterns of ikat ever been produced on cotton fabrics. They are commonly produced on silk fabrics. Yet being inspired by creativity and diversification of traditional styles and techniques, our weavers are now taking up a more challenging weaving approach when they start to produce these naturally dyed and handmade ikat 100% cotton scarves.

Whilst our local producers pride themselves on their ability to handmade these new products, our customers will definitely experience our uniquely local high-quality every-penny-worth-spending Khmer cotton scarves.

These ikat cotton scarves are excusively available at Khmer Artisanry. 

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

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