Laos Textiles-Beautiful Art

Beautiful traditional textiles

The thing that most impressed me about Laos was the beauty of their textiles made of silk, cotton and hemp.  Women have always woven traditional patterns of their villages into fabric. Today they are resourceful and are taking advantage of the large number of visitors who want to take something home to remind them of their visit to Luang Prabang. Market stalls are set up in the day market and different stalls in the night market. The vendors are moms with nursing babies, old grandmas and even girls who looked about 8 who already knew how to negotiate a “lucky price for you”.

Market Resourcefulness

We watched the day market being taken down and replaced with the night market.  Everything fits into a cart that includes the sale items. a tarp for the ground, a tent and a light that plugs into some magical plug-in on a power pole somewhere.  One vendor had special bamboo sleeves and bricks that matched the slope of her bit of sidewalk.  Another had a wooden ramp that fit her slope.  I bought some scarves from a woman who was still setting up for the evening.  She provided me with a little stool to sit on while we discussed the price.  I was her first customer of the day and she promised me a “lucky price” for being first.  After I left, she waved the money over her other items as a blessing.

Learning opportunities

When you visit Luang Prabang, there are also opportunities to take classes in natural dying techniques, weaving cloth and weaving bamboo.  You can travel to some of the villages to see the entire process as well as purchase authentic scarves, shawls, rugs and wall hangings.  Paper making is another art form popular here.