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Ikat Silk at Siem Reap

on: 07 November 2012

In this image, a skilled silk worker is tying the silk threads into patterns. The craftswomen of Artisans d'Angkor are trained in this unique resist dyeing technique of ikat to produce their beautiful and high quality silk.

In the Puok District, just 15 kilometers away from Siem Reap, is the silk farm and production factory managed by Artisans d'Angkor. Rural underprivileged village girls are given the opportunity to learn the long-lost traditional techniques of silk dyeing and weaving through a 6-month training. Once completed, they are provided jobs to make a living with dignity. This is one of the objectives of Chantiers-Écoles de Formation Professionnelle (CEFP) when it set up Artisans d'Angkor in 1998.

For more info on Artisans d'Angkor, click here

This is the main showroom of Artisans d'Angkor in Siem Reap. The finished handicrafts of the various workshops are displayed for the viewing pleasure of visitors as well as for sale.

There are wood and stone carvings of many recognizable ancient Khmer statues and bas reliefs found in the temples in Angkor. Silk products are also plentiful. During my visit, there was a certain French woman who just couldn't get enough of the high quality silk items. She purchased quite a big quantity of silk items here and later again at the Artisans d'Angkor silk factory about 15km away.

In this image, a craftsman is polishing a buddhist statue at the Artisans d'Angkor showcase workshop in Siem Reap. Since its establishment in 1998, Artisans d'Angkor has dedicated itself to preserve the Khmer traditional skills such as stone carving, wood carving, lacquering, gilding and silk-making. It does this through its 6-month training program in a specific traditional handicraft skill.

The disadvantaged rural youths from surrounding villages are given the opportunity to participate in the training, which also has the objective of providing them the opportunity to make a living with dignity. In most cases, they contribute back to their families whom are often very poor.

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Hello... I Am Josh

A Travel Writer & Photographer from South East Asia

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