Tribal Trappings – Asian Ethnic Art, Artifacts, Textiles and Folk Art Tribal Trappings – Thoughts about Thailand, Chiang Mai, things tribal including textiles, artifacts and folk art <data:blog.pageTitle/>

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ikat at IKTT

Past the old market in Siem Reap, along the curve of the river heading out of town is House 472 on Road To Lake. That's the official address of a world-renowned textile workshop and shop called The Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles, or IKTT. Begun by Kikuo Morimoto in 1996, IKTT is his vision for recreating the glorious Khmer silk textiles which were one of Cambodia's high art forms in the past. The name is a clever play on the term "ikat" for the tie-before-dyeing patterning technique used to create these works, which in Cambodian is known as "hol". It was not an easy task to find workers knowledgeable in these techniques, since the dark days of the Khmer Rouge had all but eliminated most of them. Now, it is most gratifying to visit the unassuming House 472 and find behind the bamboo shades the ground level filled with the competent ladies who are recreating the fine old patterns in new, naturally-colored silk. The large space is filled with looms, spinning wheels and reels, tying stands, as well as babies sleeping in swinging hammocks at their mothers' sides. Above, the shop and offices occupy the open, high-ceilinged space, and here one can admire and acquire the exquisite finished products being made below.







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