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« The Garden #7 | Main | The Garden #6 »
Sunday
Aug112019

Mekong Blue

I visited Mekong Blue, the Stung Treng Women’s Development Center in NE Cambodia.

Fifty women are trained in a six-month silk weaving course. They plant mulberry, harvest, dye and create silk textiles. It is a UNESCO award winner known for superior quality, creativity and originality.

Mulberry leaves everything behind. Worms eat the leaves. Their saliva makes yellow cocoons. Saliva becomes a protein and stronger than steel. They boil silkworm cocoons to extract raw yellow silk. One thread is 300 meters long.

It is separated into soft and fine threads.

Women dye the threads using natural materials:

banana (yellow)

bougainvillea (yellow)

almond leaves (black)

lac insect nests (red and purple)

prohut wood (yellow and green)

lychee wood (black and gray)

indigo (blue) and coconut (brown and pink).

Women also weave Ikat, a technique creating patterns on silk threads prior to dyeing and weaving. It is called HOL with 200 motifs.

The center improves the women’s quality of life. It breaks the cycle of poverty through vocational training and educational programs.

They have a primary school with thirty-five kids and two teachers. Everyone receives lunch. It is the single biggest employer in town after the government.

That’s so cool, said Rita. Need some ice?

Mekong Blue

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Grow Your Soul

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