Superior Silk Handicraft
from the Heart of Cambodia

BOLD SOLIDS. STYLISH STRIPES. INTRICATE PATTERNS.
AN AWARD WINNING HANDICRAFT.

 For two decades, our center trained women to work as weavers, spinners, and silk dyers; cooks, gardeners, and teaching assistants; and even business managers and accountants. During COVID-19, we had to shift our focus. Silk weaving was no longer a viable way of generating income in Cambodia. 

 

In 2019, we set up a clinic at our center to provide support for women experiencing depression and various other mental health issues. We also provide funding to start and support their own small businesses.

 

Although our silk weaving center has been closed, we have a limited number of silk scarves available for purchase through our online store. The beautiful artisan silks were made by the women at the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center.

 

As testament to the skill involved, MEKONG BLUE SCARVES were recognized 3 times by the U.N. as a UNESCO award winner for our superior quality, creativity, and originality. Made from 100% all-natural silk and non-toxic German dye, each Mekong Blue scarf is a collectible work of art, handwoven in a time-honored tradition by the women of the SWDC.

 

Apart from the high quality and creative design, each product is made with care, respect and pride.

Proceeds from every sale go back to SWDC, so that even more women can learn skills that promise their children and families a brighter tomorrow.

A Wedding Dress in Mekong Blue Silk

The Process

1. Raw silk has to be washed in hot water before we can use it for weaving. (1 day)

2. Our color team dye the washed silk using a high quality non-toxic German dye. The bundles are let to air dry. (1 day)

3. Each bundle is spun by hand into a plastic spool. (1 day)

4. Our warp is about 5 meters long (5.5 yards). To finish warping for a loom, a weaver would have walked about 5 kilometers from one end of the warping board to another. (1 day) 

5. The warp is then threaded through a reed and then through some heddles to finish setting up the loom for weaving. (4 days for a plain scarf, and 11-15 days for a jacquard pattern) 

6. Once the loom is set, it takes about one and a half day to weave a plain (modern) scarf, 6-7 days to weave a jacquard scarf and 5 days to weave an Ikat* scarf. 

7. Each finished scarf goes through a quality control team who checks for weaving errors before washing and ironing them. 

*Ikat is a tradition dyeing technique that has been passed on from generations in Cambodia. Threads are tied in a small warping board, tied by sections with a plastic strings, the bundles are then removed for the dyeing process. They are air dried and the process is repeated until the design is ready for weaving. A piece of wall hanging called, Pidan, takes 80-90 days to finish the dyeing process and 14 days to finish weaving. 

A Pidan is a Cambodian traditional art that was only allowed for display in the Cambodian Royal Palace before the civil war. Our Pidan are sold to many museums both in Cambodia and the United States. If you are interested in Purchasing a Pidan, please contact chantha@mekongblue.com for various designs and sizes. 

How To Take Care Of Our Products

We recommend dry cleaning but hand wash is also acceptable. Please follow the instructions below if you are washing our products by hand. 

1. Use silk-only detergent. Shampoo is also acceptable. 

2. Place our product in lukewarm water and pour in appropriate amount of detergent. 

3. Squeeze the product gently with your palms and rinse it off twice with clean water. For a soft finish touch, use a normal fabric softener.

4. Do not wring the product, dry it by placing it between a dry towel and let it sit on a clothing rack. 

5. Iron the product when it is lightly damp. It is harder to get rid of the small wrinkles when it is completely dry. Place the iron on the product gently. 

6. Make sure the silk is dry thoroughly and keep it in a dry place.