An afternoon of weaving

An afternoon of weaving

Workshop number two was weaving using the traditional looms that Ock Pop Tok have in abundance. At the end of the morning dying session we chose two colours and left the thread with one of the weavers so they could get us started while we went off for a leisurely lunch. We were treated to home cooked Laos food a soup, salad, sticky rice and a chicken and onion dish, delicious. When I booked they took great care to write down the things I couldn’t eat as a coeliac and made sure all of the food was ok so I didn’t miss out on anything!

After lunch we had a demonstration of how to weave the plain area of which we needed to be twenty two centimetres. It took a while to get the coordination right but became quite quick once I got going.

Then I had to do three stripes four rows of each colour until I got to the complicated pattern in the middle.

A couple of the lovely weavers were overseeing what I was doing so I didn’t make a mistake. I’m not sure I can even describe the next bit succinctly. It requires patience, brain and physical stammer and is just hard. Having said that I was expertly guided through with very few mishaps! I was somewhat relieved when that bit was over and I could get back to plain again for another twenty two centimetres.

One of the most beautiful things I’d noticed the day before where the delicate white patterns woven loosely in white at the top of each ladies loom I had no idea what it was just that it had a ghostly presence. It turns out that these are the patterns for the weave on that loom and the delicately woven white panels are very practical and important, they are kind of the ghost pattern for what will emerge later.

Anyway here is my finished piece! Quite chuffed and am exhausted but in a good way. Thank you Ock Pop Tok for such a lovely and inspiring day. I can’t recommend this experience enough!