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Traditional weavers use skills to rise above poverty

The traditional and beautiful Lainark and Laiphakkoud designs from Huaphan province take prominent position in the Khaysy Handicraft Shop, a social enterprise aimed at generating a sustainable income for traditional weavers.
Shop owner Ms Khaysy Sorphabmixay has expressed her pride in promoting and selling traditional weavings, which has become a sustainable livelihood for her and her family. 

Ms Khaysy Sorphabmixay shows textiles woven in the Huaphan style.

Located in Nongbouathong village, Sikhottabong district, Vientiane, the shop has seven looms where weavers sit daily creating designs using the Lainark and Laiphakkoud patterns according to customers’ orders.
There are an additional 10 weavers who work from home to make sure all of the orders are completed on time.
“I’m pleased when I realise that my daily weaving work, which I learned from my mother as a child, has helped to improve my living standards,” said Ms Khaysy.
The weaving also brings in extra income for her assistants, with each woman earning an average of 1-3 million kip per piece depending on their skills.
Ms Khaysy says her success is in part thanks to the Handicraft Promotion Group which she joined in 2003. Through the group she was able to promote and market her products by exhibiting at handicraft trade fairs in Laos and other countries.
These fairs allowed her to display her products internationally, allowing her to create a bigger customer base. Customers are attracted to her products because of the way they are made – the weavers use natural materials and everything is handmade.
The weavings are increasingly popular, especially among women who appreciate quality and orginality.
Ms Khaysy and her group make scarves, shawls, tablecloths and lengths of fabric that can be made into various types of clothing.
Her most popular product is her shawls, which Japanese customers like to buy and use to tie around their waist. 
All of the items are made with great care and attention.  Each shawl takes about two months to complete and sell for 9 million kip each.
“I focus on making good quality products. This mean a lot of attention goes into making the product,” Ms Khaysy said.
“In addition, my business creates job opportunities for unemployed women in this area. If they have a job, it means they have money, which helps them to rise above the poverty line step by step. This means that everyone is satisfied.”


 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update November 8, 2017)

 

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