Growing up in a weaving family, Mrs. Vanthong learned to weave at age 13.
She says the best part of her job is working with a group of women toward the goal of keeping Lao textiles alive. She values the opportunity to exchange and share ideas, experiences and traditions among the weavers at Ock Pop Tok.
“I hope that Ock Pop Tok will be one organization that keeps supporting Laos handicrafts forever,” she says. “Because textiles of Laos are truly unique.Mrs. Vanthong
Learning to weave at a young age, Mrs. Mina was already able to set up a loom — a complicated skill — by age 15.
Teamwork and unity are important values that she finds in her work at Ock Pop Tok. Her favourite weaving technique: supplementary, or “chok”, that uses many colours of silk.
Her hope for the future is that weaving will be seen as an important part of Lao history. “We shouldn’t allow it to disappear.”Mrs. Mina
Having grown up in a weaving family, she learned to weave from her mother when she was just a little girl.
Her favourites include the Naga motif, symbolic of protection, and the colour blue.
She says she learns a lot from the Ock Pop Tok team: “I love weaving and exchanging the information about the weaving with friends.”
With two children, one a daughter, she plans to teach her everything about weaving, just like her mother taught her in the past.Mrs. Bounmee
Growing up in a weaving family, she started to learn at age 13.
Her skills are highlighted best in her favorite technique, discontinuous supplementary weft.
She hopes textiles will be one channel that can attract more visitors to come visit Laos — and help share the great work of Lao weavers with the rest of the world.
She plans to teach the next generation the skills as well. “I will teach them how to weave as my mother had taught me to continue this culture be as long as possible in the future.”Mrs. On
Mrs. Vannaly fell in love with weaving before her feet could even reach the floor pedals by watching her mother.
Her favourite materials to work with are those with natural dyes.
From beautiful scarves to intricate wall hangings to home decor, she hopes that visitors see the excellent abilities of weavers here given the complexity of the art form — and that Lao textiles become better known worldwide.
“Lao women are very strong ladies,” she says.Mrs. Vannaly
Learning to weave at 20 years old, later than most, Mrs. Ting taught herself by observing friends.
Prayer flags, which represent the stairs to heaven in traditional beliefs, and diamond motifs are her favourite.
Whether she’s teaching a class or weaving on her own, she says she learned a lot from her experiences at Ock Pop Tok. She believes Lao people are the best in the world at weaving. “I would love to keep Lao weaving alive.”Mrs. Ting
Born is Luang Prabang, Mrs. Sykai says she is proud of the title “Master Weaver” and the ability to show visitors her skills. A dedicated weaver, she is inspired by creating new designs and incorporating old motifs into contemporary patterns. Alongside Ms. Lear, head of design and production, Liew created our award winning organza wall hanging.
She hopes that textiles will continue to improve for future generations. “We need to teach our children,” she says. “We have to keep it alive.”Mrs. Sykai
From the different colours of silk to the “outstanding and very impressive” patterns, Mrs. Panee likes to show visitors the supplementary technique, or “chok”.
Having learned to weave when she was only 9 years old, she hopes the tradition will continue.
She wants people, especially future generations, to know how important weaving is to her culture, “Why Lao women had to weave in the past and why we have to keep it alive,” she says.Mrs. Panee
Valuing traditional motifs and natural colours, Mrs. New likes blues and yellows the best. The Naga motif is her favourite because of it’s unique pattern.
“I really love to weave,” she says. “I was born in the weaving village with every women knowing how to weave.”
She hopes that the knowledge and popularity of Lao textiles grows around the world in order to support even more communities, especially those in rural parts of the country.Mrs. New
Hailing from a small village in Houaphan province in Northern Laos — known for intricate weaving styles — Ms. Vaa learned to weave from her mother at 10 years old.
She wants visitors to know how beautiful her country’s landscapes are and importance of its historic sites, culture and traditions — and, of course, the handicrafts and textiles.
“These traditions have been passed down for hundreds of years.”Mrs. Vaa
A mother of five boys, Ms. Kiang loves to travel and represent Ock Pop Tok abroad.
Her favourites are the colour blue, the King Naga motif and masterpieces, such as the wedding blanket, one of the most important pieces to Lao women in the past.
She believes the best thing about working here is that ability to make visitors happy and help them love Lao textiles too.
“I love working as a team because we can share the ideas, experiences and skills.”Mrs. Kiang
A great weaver, Ms. Ting is also the life and soul of the party.
She fell in love with weaving before she was even tall enough to do it on her own. She finds working at Ock Pop Tok has impacted her family in very positive ways, including providing many benefits and flexibility.
She hopes visitors see the excellent abilities behind her and all Lao women’s work.
“Weaving is an art work and very complicated,” she says.Mrs. Ting