This year we are led by Patrizia Franceschinis Tshering. Living in Bhutan since 1982, married to a Bhutanese, Patrizia is an enthusiastic collector of textile art and handwoven textiles from South-South East Asia. Patrizia applies 21 years’ work in women’s development with international and non-governmental organizations with a life-long interest in textile design and hand weaving and has worked with Bhutanese master weavers and artists for decades. Continue reading
To create a new pattern heddle storage system, the weaver begins with her loom warped with the warp threads passing through a pair of fixed heddles for the ground weave, and then behind that, each warp end passing through it’s own long vertical string heddle. Continue reading
To avoid having to pick up the required warp threads to create each row of a supplementary weft pattern, Lao-Tai weavers have devised several methods of storing these patterns on their loom. Continue reading
I recently encountered a Bhutanese kira that is unlike any other I have seen. The weaver has pushed the boundaries both literally and figuratively. Continue reading
I had plenty of opportunities to see all stages of warp preparation while I was at Ock Pop Tok for 2 months and during a couple of visits to Vientiane, Continue reading
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
When I was volunteering at Ock Pop Tok in 2011-12, I used to sometimes take a break to visit Mon and watch her weave beaded patterns on her Katu backstrap loom. Continue reading
After the touristy atmosphere around Inle Lake in Burma, I found it a delight to travel up to the Shan hills and stay a few days in the less-visited town of Namshan.
Luntaya acheik, the celebrated “100-shuttle” tapestry fabric from the Mandalay area of Burma, is woven with tiny shuttles with tapered ends that allow them to do double duty as pickup sticks. Continue reading
Weavers in the Mandalay area specialise in acheik, sometimes called lun taya acheik, meaning 100-shuttle design. While not always using 100 shuttles, there were certainly plenty!
Cambodian hol fabric is patterned before it is woven, by tieing and dyeing the pattern into the weft threads. Continue reading
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
I was very impressed with the standard of weaving I found when I visited the Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women. Continue reading
Laos is home to a large number of ethnic groups, many of whom still wear all or part of their colourful traditional dress, especially for festivals or weddings.
Last week I had the pleasure of taking Kay Faulkner’s East Meets West course at the Contextart Forum in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. Continue reading
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).
Recently I enjoyed browsing through the sumptuous kushutara brocades paraded down the catwalk at the Window to Woven Dreams fashion show held at the opening of the new Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan. Continue reading
I came across this magnificent piece at Nikone Gallery in Vientiane. Continue reading
At a weaving centre perched on stilts over the waters of Inle Lake, I saw the painstaking work involved in making lotus thread, traditionally used for monks’ robes. Continue reading
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
I have Air Asia to thank for discovering this museum: they cancelled my onward connection Kuala Lumpur to Vientiane and gave me a whole day to fill in KL. Continue reading
The ghada is woven in narrow strips, with an interesting technique for creating the textured bands that run weft-wise. Continue reading
The ghada is a cloth used for carrying light loads in the area of the Annapurnas where I lived for a couple of months. Adjacent corners are knotted together, Continue reading
Patan in Gujarat is famous for the tradition of weaving patola, or double ikat since the 12th century. The process of tie-dyeing both warp and weft threads with such a fine pattern, and weaving so as to align these patterns in both sets of threads requires enormous skill and care. Continue reading