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Tours of Vietnam and Cambodia | Vietnam & Cambodia Tour

The Lao Textiles

As a child, Carol Cassidy loved to rummage through "all of those old clothes" in her grandmother's attic. Her grandmother was a tailor who lived in an old Woodbury, Connecticut, home built in the 18th century. One wonders if, back then, Carol ever imagined that as an adult she would be creating intricate textiles for London art collectors, New York designers, museum curators and Thai royalty. Today her showroom/studio is located in an early 20th century, French colonial home juxtaposed by a white picket fence on a partially paved, pot-hole ridden street halfway around the world in dusty, downtown Vientiane, Lao PDR.
Laotian silk weaving thrived from the 1300s until the start of the First World War. In the 1980s, when Carol and her husband reached Laos, she was a UN Development Program textile specialist sent to assist women to revive and develop their traditional weaving skills, some of the rich past had survived the years of French colonialism, Japanese occupation and American bombing. She savored the impeccable woven silk she found and was certain collectors from around the world would cherish the lush fabric. When her UN tour finished, she decided to go into business for herself. She and her husband, a former UN rural development specialist she had met in Africa, invested their life savings of $200,000 US and became the first Americans to own and incorporate a company in Laos after the country opened its doors to foreign investment in 1986. The Lao Textiles Company now employs about fifty weavers, dyers and bobbin winders who carry out her designs on looms that she designed herself.
Discover textiles of Laos with us through Cambodia and Laos tours
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Update : 17-02-2017

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