The New York Times featured an article on the silk-weaving tradition of Laos, as reported by Sandra Ballentine.
For many years the ancient silk-weaving tradition of Laos was stifled under the Communist regime that took over the country in 1975… Today, however, with the government amenable to entrepreneurship and tourism, affluent and educated Lao expats, as well as conservation-minded foreigners, have revived this once-endangered art.
The first stop on any silk route should be Vientiane, Laos’s capital, which is usually overlooked for the more picturesque town of Luang Prabang. But it is in Vientiane where you find couture-quality textiles rather than the cheaper fabrics aimed at the tourist trade.
Not far from Luang Prabang is the tiny weaving village of Phonesay. You have to cross a rickety, suspended wooden bridge and then dodge chickens on a dirt road to reach it, but here you can see weaving at its most traditional. As they have for hundreds of years, the women mind the children and weave in their bamboo-and-thatch houses all day while the men fish the Mekong River.
To read the complete article, visit NYTimes.com