Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles(IKTT),Siem Reap
We had the great pleasure of meeting Kikuo Morimoto and spending time with the weavers at IKTT. Through it's Wisdom of the Forest project, IKTT is becoming a fully sustainable community - providing empolyment, training, food, and housing for over 300 families. All the textiles are made from silk and plants they grow and harvest locally.
The extremely intricate ikat 'tie-dying' weaving process starts with tying off the patterns on hand looms, then dying the patterns with natural dyes, unwinding the dyed silk onto many small spools and finally weaving the pre-dyed pattern onto a loom. It is remarkable to witness. Their large open workshops are alive with the clatter of handlooms, the steady hum of bicycle spinning wheels and the chatter of young children playing. The women at IKTT are invited to participate in all aspects of the organization: painting, accounting, inventory, managing the office and running the store.
IKTT is a Cambodian NGO, founded in 1996 by Kikuo Morimoto for the preservation, restoration and continuing development of traditional Khmer weaving and textiles.www.iktt.esprit-libre.org/en/.
Artisans d'Angkor, Siem Reap
The beautiful weaving and education centre for Artisans d’Angkor is located just outside of Siem Reap and is open to the public. We were taken on a tour by a young man whose mother is a weaver. A non-profit NGO, Artisans d'Angkor is working to bring back the ancient art and culture of the Angkor region through its rich and elegant silk weaving and rare craftsmanship. It was established in 1998 to support the Khmer art and culture through the education of local youth and employment of young Cambodians. Through this initiative Artisans d’Angkor has created more than 700 jobs and today has the privilege of employing 1000 people who are dedicated to promoting the rich and ancient art forms of Angkor.