More info about Silk Scarves from Laos

Laotian Silk ScarfThis Lao style of weaving can be found along the Mekong river in both Laos and northern Thailand, where it is an important cultural and financial part of traditional village life.

All of the pieces featured on this site com from Laos. The word "Laotian" is equivalent to the more common current use of "Lao" to describe people or things which come from Laos, or as it is known today, the Lao People's Democratic Republic (or Lao P.D.R.).

Most of these pieces take between two to five weeks to make depending on their size and are mostly silk, although cotton will be mixed in with some heavier hangings.

Lao Silk ScarfMen will usually participate in the dyeing process which takes place about once a month. The weaving remains a female activity.  

The intense colors displayed have all come from jungle products to make natural dyes.  The patterns are based on traditional Lao designs that stem from all over the region. Usually the weavers will not know the origins of their designs except that they are Lao.

As there are hundreds of villages there are also hundreds of designs and patterns. Some of the designs are improvisations that follow a traditional Lao theme.

The pieces are used traditionally as wall hangings and scarves. These weavings that look and feel like silk jewelry are a symbol of wealth! As they are treated in Laos, one should handle them with gentle and respectful hands.

Several factors are used to determine the prices listed on this site. More intricate weaving, more color variation, less repetition in the patterns, larger size, and better overall quality and condition will all merit higher pricing.

Due to environmental conditions and the the widespread practices of "simulated aging," it can be difficult to determine the true age of these pieces, so nearly all scarves on this site are considered to be less than 10 years old. Actual antique scarves are noted as such and priced accordingly.

Grade A Silk Scarves

Grade B Silk Scarves

Grade C Silk Scarves

Grade D Silk Scarves

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