Meet the Artisans Of Camacrafts, Laos
The women of Laos have been weaving for over 1,000 years. They are passionate about silk weaving and joyfully work their looms. Silk weaving plays a vital role in Lao tradition. Textile connoisseurs have long admired Laotian weaving skills. In recent years, many foreigners have come to Laos to help reviving this ancient art.
“To witness someone setting up a loom by hand, which can take up to two weeks for a complicated pattern, and then watch them calmly sit down to weave the design slowly and methodically, for up to six months, is a meditation.”
CAMACRAFTS is a non-profit, self-help project which markets handicrafts from the Lao P.D.R. It is a certified member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
CAMACRAFTS’ handicraft products are entirely handmade by Lao and Hmong village women who use traditional patterns and techniques. CAMACRAFTS strives to preserve the traditional needlework skills of Hmong and Lao women, such as Hmong appliqué, cross-stitch, embroidery, and batik.
CAMACRAFTS fosters family unity by decreasing rural unemployment and subsequent migration to urban centers. An estimated 70% of women who sew for CAMACRAFTS provide the only cash earnings for their families. Money earned from the handicrafts is largely used to send their kids to school, and to supply food and medicine. This income supplements the produce they receive from their farms, which is typically their only means of livelihood.