Handicrafts in Luang Prabang

In my post on Luang Prabang I mentioned the night market which sells some lovely products. Unlike in Chiang Mai a lot of the products are not mass produced 🙂

Lao silk and cotton are weaved all over. On our boat trip we briefly stopped at what the boat owner / pilot called a weaving village (actually called Ban Xang Khong) where you could see some of the fabrics being woven:

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It’s actually quite a skilled task when weaving a pattern. The patterned fabrics I’ve seen here seem to have blocks of solid colour, with generally complex diamond shapes. They are different to patterns I’ve seen elsewhere in Asia, but they do have a small similarity.

Another handmade product you see is handmade paper. In quite a few places you can get images of monks on large pieces of paper – they look like they have been screen painted. You can also buy the paper itself. I wanted to buy some for card making, but wouldn’t be able to get it home without creasing it as I’d need to fold it up a lot. You can get a lot of things made from the paper including latterns, photo albums and much more. I bought a beautiful mobile for a friends newborn – I’ll show you it once I’ve made it back to the UK and they have received it! I would have bought more, but I’m already over my weight allowance!

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Finally, another handicraft you see is Hmong applique. You can get bibs, aprons, bags, pencil cases, in fact virtually anything that can be appliqued on! Most have elephants on, but you can also get hearts too:

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As you can see they seem to have thread around the edge in a contrasting colour, then a simple stitch around it all. A lot of the elephants were made from patterned fabric, but I didn’t take a photo of any of those. Sorry! What struck me about these was that you could see the stall holders who sell these items sitting there with a needle and thread, sewing more as they man their stalls. That’s something I’ve only ever seen in UK craft fairs before and shows me that they are really handmade. Lovely!

It is nice to see handmade products on sale and Luang Prabang was full of inspiration for my own makes.

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