Sustainable Silk at Artisans D’Angkor

Khmer Traditional Dress at the ShopThe National Silk Center in Puok, which is 20 minutes from Siem Reap, is managed by Artisans D’Angkor, an offshoot of the Chantiers-Écoles project, setup in 1998 with financial support from the European Union to develop a sustainable model for cambodian artisans to make a living from handicraft production. Approximately 1000 artisans in 15 workshops make handicrafts through lacquering sandstone and wood, carving wood and stone, and spinning silk.

A guided tour took us through all stages seri culture or silk farming, from mulberry trees that feed the hungry larvae to the factory floor where young rural women working handlooms turn spools of silk into fabric and finally to the finished silk products sold at their very chic store.

The cocooning caterpillars are stored in wicker baskets to be later boiled alive in their cocoons to unravel the silk thread. From saliva of the Bombyx mori, or silkworm to beautiful lustrous silk. The dead worms also make a crunchy fried snack for the workers.

It was very inspiring to see the sustainable project which is incredibly successful and preserves the local handicraft industry.

Poster - Life Cycle of the Silk Worm

Poster - Life Cycle of the Silk Worm

Larvae of Bombyx Mori feasting on Mulberry Leaves

Larvae of Bombyx Mori feasting on Mulberry Leaves

Silk Cocoons on Wicker Baskets

Silk Cocoons on Wicker Baskets

Separating silk thread from cocoons 1 cocoon has a single thread of 400 meter silk

Boiling to Unravel the 400meters of Silk Thread from a Single Cocoon

Spinning the Silk Thread

Spinning the Silk Thread

Silk yarn in a range of natural colors

Silk Thread in a Range of Natural Colors

Tying the Slk to Develop the Intricate Ikat Patterns

Tying the Slk to Develop the Intricate Ikat Patterns

Weaving on Traditional Looms

Weaving on Traditional Looms - A Beautiful Scarf

Colors For Every Day of the Week

Colors For Every Day of the Week

 

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One Response to Sustainable Silk at Artisans D’Angkor

  1. parker says:

    Always great to see someone step into the mix and dig in to show us what goes on – all the work that goes into – making silk. Great story and adventure. Thanks for sharing.

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