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Silk products sustain weavers’ income

As many of you may already know, Huaphan is one of the most famous places in Laos for weaving, and it is Huaphan’s women who are preserving this weaving tradition to pass it on from generation to generation. 
Not only are the women proud of their weaving it also it creates a sustainable income for the weavers; such as Ms Bouavone Akharthongkham.

Ms Bouavone Akharthongkham at her booth at Lao-ITECC in Vientiane, recently.

Living in Huaphan province, Ms Bouavone learned how to weave from her mother. With little capital to start a weaving business, in 1991 she started with just 23,000kip and a few looms. At the same time, she also started growing mulberry trees.
After a little while, she found that her production was insufficient to meet the strong market demand for her products. Therefore, to ensure that all her customers receive their order on time, Ms Bouavone has had to increase the number of looms every year.  In addition, she has hired additional women to weave for her, and today more than 100 looms are part of her business in Huaphan province.
Over the past 20 years, her business has expanded very quickly, and this has helped her to earn a lot of money each year. Indeed, her investment into weaving was the biggest investment that she had ever made. She explains that she chose to make this big investment at that time because she still saw a big potential market for Huaphan-style weaving.
Most of weaving work is designed in the Huaphan-patterned style, which is one of the most famous styles of weaving in Laos, and is popular among both Lao customers and foreign tourists alike.
As a result of this, the government awarded the certificate of ‘One District One Product’ to Ms Bouavone in 2014. The certificate created awareness of her product to customers. She was very happy to receive the certificate at that time, due to it helping to expand the market for her products.
This has allowed her opportunity to show her product at various trade fairs, making more potential customers aware of her products, and the orders for her products are increasing every year. However, she must produce her products to a high standard of quality, ensuring that customers will come back to buy the product again. In addition, in order to attract buyers of weaving products it is important that she makes new designs every year.
In addition to the weaving increasing  Ms Bouavone family’s income, it also creates extra jobs for women employed as weavers in her business. The silk that she uses for weaving sinh and other silk clothing is maimon silk.
Since started weaving business, she observes her living standard is better than when she started her weaving business in 1991.
“I am happy now as my family can live above the poverty-line and is supporting the government’s policy on poverty alleviation,” she said.

By Xayxana Leukai
(Latest Update June 24 , 2017 )

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