Profile of: Cambodian Weaving Village, Cambodia
Words & photos by Emily Lush
Located 90 minutes south of Phnom Penh in Tram Kak district, Takeo province, Cambodian Weaving Village is one of few weaving co-ops in an area that was once a thriving centre of cotton production. A.N.D., tonlé and Kambuja Trading Co. are just some of the local fashion brands that produce scarves and other textiles here.
The Village was founded in 2013 as a partnership between UK entrepreneur, Paul Gill and Takeo local, Siphen Meas. The Village and its complementary NGO, The Weavers Project, aims to reintroduce weaving back into the Tram Kak community as a way to tackle poverty through sustainable employment.
A team of eight women currently work at the Village full-time. Their relatively small workshop is set under a tall stilted house amongst Takeo’s famous rice paddies. Some of the frame looms were made by expert carpenters in nearby Prey Kbba district.
Raw cotton skeins are imported from Vietnam and coloured at the Village with natural dyes. The team is also experimenting with growing their own cotton crop, with a view to make the textiles woven here 100% local. The property has a palm grove that is used to make coconut oil for skincare brand Dai Khmer.
The weavers here make geometric and striped scarves and other simple textiles. Some textiles produced for the brand tonlé are woven from recycled fabric scrap. Cambodian Weaving Village is open to the public and a free tour of the workshop can be organised by emailing in advance. To reach the Weaving Village from Phnom Penh, travel by bus or taxi south on National Road 3, or take the train to Takeo station. The Village is located just outside Takeo town on the road to Kampot.
The Meas family also run a homestay on the property to accommodate overnight guests. View the full article on Wander-Lush.