Vientiane: Phaeng Mai Gallery

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I saw this impressive piece covered in sihos (mythical lion-elephant creatures) pregnant with double-headed nagas (protective river serpents) and carrying their young and a frogman (or perhaps an ancestor spirit) on their backs at Phaeng Mai Gallery in Vientiane. Continue reading

Phnom Chisor: Hol weavers

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Ever since I bought my first piece of piece of 2/1 twill ikat silk in Chiangmai in 2001, I had wanted to see it woven, and finally in 2012 I was bumping along in a tuk-tuk heading out of Phnom Penh to Phnom Chisor to visit hol weavers. Continue reading

Phnom Chisor: Hol weaving

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Cambodian hol is woven on a plain warp, with all the design being in the pre-patterned weft (see Hol Weft Preparation). Once the warp is wound onto the board that will hold it at the foot of the loom, the hundreds of ends of very fine silk must be threaded through the reed (heddles are created once the warp is on the loom).

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Phnom Penh: Hol shops

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I purchased my first piece of 2/1 twill ikat in Chiang Mai in 2001, and as well as loving the soft pattern edges created by tying and dyeing the yarns before weaving, I was transfixed by the way the weave structure affects the colours as the fabric moves. Continue reading

Benares Saris Techniques


  Seeing the dark and cramped space where these saris are woven, I perfectly understood why the senior weavers from this workshop had taken their warp to the local park to prepare it for mounting on the loom. Continue reading