Photo: A beautiful classic Lao weaving.

Weaving and textiles

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Laos is renowned for its tradition of weaving and Luang Prabang has become a hub for textiles—read on for a primer on how to learn more about the craft along with recommendations for reputable outlets to buy from.





Weaving is an art and skill that has been passed on between generations. What begins as a silkworm, a bud of cotton or a hemp plant is transformed into a cloth that tells a story about the weaver, her village, her tribe and ethnicity: Hmong, Tai Lue, Tai Dam, Lanten and Katu, just to name a few. Textiles are a fascinating way to connect with the culture of Laos and through them you can discover the country’s astounding diversity.

A world of weaving awaits in Luang Prabang. Photo taken in or around Weaving and textiles, Luang Prabang, Laos by Cindy Fan.

A world of weaving awaits in Luang Prabang. Photo: Cindy Fan

SEE Visitors can observe weavers at work and of course, buy products at Ban Xieng Lek and Ban Xang Khong, also known as the paper and weaving villages. Untouched by tourism this place is not, however the dual villages retain a rural air, it’s a low-key experience and there’s variety—not just silk scarves but also cotton rugs, tapestries and shawls of good quality. To get there cross the bamboo bridge at the tip of the peninsula (available in dry season from around November to June). Or cross the motorbike bridge and turn left, continuing on this road along the Mekong for 2.5 kilometres, about 15 minutes by bicycle or 30 minutes walk, a pleasant trip when it’s not too hot.

LEARN Get hands on. Ock Pop Tok offers workshops at their Living Crafts Centre two kilometres from town on the banks of the Mekong river. Try a half-day natural dyes session (416,000 kip/US$52), a full-day silk weaving or Hmong batik class (starting from 552,000 kip/US$69). Enthusiasts can partake in a two- or three-day workshop with master weavers. The full-day class includes a Lao lunch and free shuttle from the ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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