One of OPT’s longest tenured weavers, Mrs Phan, 47 years old from Hounsai Village, came to the Living Crafts Centre eight years ago to join our weaving team. Her niece, who also works with us, recommended her to join the team — a true family affair! The support by family members is common and further helps solidify weaving as a sustainable source of income for these artisans. We invite you to visit the LCC and meet Mrs Phan and the other talented women while they practice their incredible craft!
Here are Mrs Phan’s thoughts on weaving, in her own words:
Who taught you to weave?
My grandmother started teaching me to weave when I was 11-12 years old. First it was just plain weave, then cotton sinhs with different patterns. I used to be able to set up my own patterns, but now my eyesight is getting weaker. I can still correct the patterns, though.
What new things did you learn since you joined OPT?
I learnt to weave with silk here, before I just used cotton. I’m also feeling much more confident doing the more difficult methods like chok (discontinuous supplementary weft) as I only used to do luang (continuous supplementary weft).
What are your favourite motifs?
I like the King and Queen Naga motifs, but I can’t weave them (Editor’s note: Visit our Master Weaver Mrs. Kieng in our Heritage garden during December as she weaves a King Naga)
Do you also weave at home?
Sometimes when I’m tired of going back and forth I take the silk home to my own loom. I only have sons, so I have to cook for them.
What is your favourite thing about working for OPT?
There are really good benefits here. Sometimes we get to go on trips and learn interesting things that you don’t learn back in the village. The Dok Kom pattern scarf that she is weaving this week is one of her finest achievements. It involves both the Luang and Chok techniques and must be finished with great attention to detail.
Check out previous Faces of OPT features:
Faces of OPT gives you a look behind the scenes of the team at Ock Pop Tok.
Join the conversation: follow #MeetTheWeavers for more on the women and stories related to the beautiful textiles of Ock Pop Tok.