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Laos: textile related shops

The starting point for the information below was 'The Guide to Asian Textile Collections', Second Edition, which was published in 2000 by the Textile Society of Hong Kong (ISBN 962-86077-1-5). This has been expanded to include information from the Lonely Planet guide to Laos published in January 2002. To date I have not visited Laos so cannot speak based on personal experience on any of the shops listed and take no responsibility for the accuracy of the comments and details given herein. I have been receiving some feedback and adding to the details, including web links, when discovered, as information becomes available.

In May 2010 Donna Lum visited Laos, mainly to see wats and museums. She also checked out some of the shopping information on this page and, on her return, very kindly sent me some travel notes containing her feedback which I have put into a web page.

Please contact me if you have any corrections or comments on the shops listed below and please share information on any new ones you find during travel to Laos.

Click here for Laos country page
Click here for Cambodia and Laos travel notes from Donna Lum
Luang Prabang
Erwan Arts

Erwan Arts offers the finest 100% hand woven silk and exotic wood products from throughout Laos with every item painstakingly hand made in Laos, by Lao people, from Lao materials, and using only natural dyes. There is also a working antique loom where the intricate process of an exquisite wall hanging or scarf may be observed. 20 Ban Hoxieng / Hoxieng Village, Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang Province, 06000, Laos/Lao PDR see website for location map. info@erawan-arts.com tel: (+856) 71-212821 Open 08:00 - 21:30 Mon-Sun.

Mr Keomontree Duangbupha, Lao Antique Textiles Collection

A good selection of high quality textiles. 24/6 Ban Xieng Moune, Sisavang Vong Road. (Old quarter), Luang Prabang, Laos, tel: 856-71-212775, keomontree@yahoo.com A satisfied customer says: 'He is very serious, knowledgable, and patient with those less informed. He has a great collection of very interesting pieces'. Another reports: 'Keomontree is a great specialist on Lao textiles and a very nice person whom I have met several times.'

Mulberries Mulberries textile shop is located upstairs from Joma coffee shop and next to the post office. It offers organic and naturally dyed Lao silk. It is part of a sericulture project that operates in about five hundred villages in Northern Laos. (Also in Vientiane - see below) See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.
OckPopTok Lonely Planet: 'This textile gallery and workshop offers a selection of naturally dyed house-woven Lao silk and cotton from which is produced custom-tailored clothing as well as household decorative items. Lengths of fabric can also be purchased.' 73/5 Ban Wat Nong, Luang Prabang. Mobile tel: 020 570148. See a short article 'Weaving in Luang Prabang, Laos' by Louise Castellanon on attending a weaving workshop at the gallery in May 2008. See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.
Pathana Boupha Antique House Lonely Planet says: 'In an impressive old French mansion, this shop carries antique statuary, jewellery, silverwork (especially antique silver betel nut sets) royal Lao government currency and old photos, mostly from the Lao owner's private collection. They also sell high quality textiles (originals as well as reproductions) from the various ethnic groups around Laos. The late patriach of the family designed many of the costumes and ornments used in the former Royal Palace, and until his death he also furnished costuming for the local Miss Pi Mai Lao pageant.' 29/4 Ban Visun, Luang Prabang, tel: 212262. Open 8.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Talat Dala (Dara Market) The Dara Market is at the corner of Thanon Setthathilat & Thanon Chao Sisuphon. Lonely Planet says: 'Although not enormous by Vientiane standars, it does have an impressive array of hardware, cookware, dried and preserved foodstuffs, textiles and handicrafts.' See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.
The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre A private museum, the Centre features exhibits of ethnic artefacts, a museum shop, and the Patio Cafe. Ban Khamyong, Luang Prabang, information@taeclaos.org Tel/Fax: 856 (0)71 253364. See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.
Villa Santi and Pansea Phou Vao Hotel

Each contain small gift shops with Lao textiles and other handicrafts. Villa Santi Resort tel: 252157, 212267, fax: 252158. Pansea Phou Vao Hotel - tel/fax: 212194, fax 212534., Thanon Phu Vao. Sits on the crest of Phu Vao (Kite Hill) on the southern edge of town. See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.

Ban Nong Buathong weaving district Lonely Planet says: 'To see Lao weaving in action, seek out the weaving district of Ban Nong Buathong, north-east of the town centre in Muang Chanthabuli (part of the central district of Vientiane). About 20 families (many originally from Sam Neua in Hua Phan Province) live and work here, including a couple of households that sell textiles directly to the public and welcome visitors who want to observe the weaving process.
Coleur d'Asie Tel 223008, 20 Thanon Khun Bulom. Open 10.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. Mon - Sat. Lonely Planet says: 'Opposite the western side of Wat In Paeng, this shop is owned by a French-Vietnamese dress designer with paris fashion school experience; some of the women's clothing designs here are very becoming, with an eye towards ethnic chic, Lao-style.'
Doris 77/1 thanon Pangkham. Open 9.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. daily. Lonely Planet refers to a good selection of antiques and antique reproductions, quality Lao textiles, original women's clothing, locally made jewellery and Lao Buddha images.
INDIGOLao INDIGOLao, a store and gallery space in Vientiane, is a treasure trove of traditional Lao textiles, tribal textiles, ethnic costumes and fine handicrafts from ethnic groups of Southeast Asia. Store owner, Vieng. Located on Rue François Ngin, Ban Mixay (Opposite Wat Mixay), Chantabouly District, Vientiane, Lao PDR. Open Monday to Friday, 10am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am-8pm. Tel:  +856 21 215469.
Kanchana Lao Handicrafts and Antiques

Quartier Thatdam, Showroom 102 Samsenthai Road, Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel: 213 467. Opposite Metropole Hotel. Lonely Planet gives the address as 102 Thanon Chanta Khumman, Vientiane. Open 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Mon-Sat. Carries an extensive selection of crafts and Lao silk. See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.

Lao Antique Textiles

Talat Sao (Morning Market), A2-4 Downstairs, side aisle. Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel: 212 381 or 312 390. Open 10.00 - 6.00 p.m. daily. Lonely Planet: 'This stall has a good selection although its competitors in the market are catching up quickly.

Lao Antique Textiles The proprietor Mrs. Chanthone Thattanakham of Lao Antique Textiles in the Talat Sao also maintains a textile gallery in her home (72/08 Thanon Tha Deua near Km2 in Ban Suanmon.) She also offers ceramics and silver.
Lao Antique Textiles

TSHK says: This is a different shop than the one run by Mrs. Chanthone Thattanakham. Ban Thong Rong, No 13 North Road, P.O. Box 4770, Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel: 856-21-222 454, fax: 856-21-612 059

Lao Cotton Company The Lao Women's Pilot Textile Project, a UN sponsored program, has this clothing factory in Ban Khunta, off Thanon Luang Prabang around 2.5km west of the centre of Vientiane. Lonely Planet: 'It specilises in hand-woven Lao cotton products in both modern and traditional designs, including shirts, dresses, handbags, place mats and table lines. Simple short-sleeved men's shirts are a great buy.' Tel 215840 Open 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Mon - Sat.
Lao Development Cotton & Silk Handicrafts Shop Lonely Planet: 'This small shop opposite the Asian Pavilion Hotel offers a modest selection of Lao cotton fabrics and clothing.' 108/3 Thanon Samsenthai. Open 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Mon - Sat. Tel: 217509
Lao Phattana Handicrafts Centre Co., Ltd

P O Box 2947 Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel: 217 172, tel/fax: 212 363. Opposite Lao Aviation Head Office. 53 Thanon Pangkham. Open 8.30 a.m .- 6.00 p.m. Mon-Sat A fair selection of antique and new hand-woven silks and cottons, antique silver, woodcarvings and other crafts.

Lao Textiles

Carol Cassidy has played a key role in the redevelopment of modern Lao weaving and her workshop produces high end museum quality, modern pieces using traditional motifs. Also does home furnishings. (Pamela - I have seen in Singapore some beautiful (quite high cost) items from Carol's workshops and I have a small, exquisite piece.) PO Box 5088, Vientiane, Laos (see map) Tel: (856) 21-212123, Fax: (856) 21-216205 email: ccassidy@laotextiles.com (84-86 Thanon Nokeo Khumman) Open 8.00 a.m. - noon and 2..-- p.m. - 5.00 p.m. Mon - Fri, 8.00 a.m. - noon Sat or by appointment. Lonely Planet says: 'Lao Textiles sells high-end contemporary, original-design fabrics inspired by older Lao weaving patterns, motifs and techniques. The American designer, Carol Cassidy, employs Lao weavers who ause modified Swedish looms to produce wider pieces of fabric than those made on traditional Lao looms. her textiles mix tapestry, brocade, ikat and weft ikat techniques, applied only to silk fabrics and completely hand-dyed using natural dyes. Items for sale include scarves, shawls, wall hangings and home-furnishing accessories. The prices are what you might expect from a weving house that has exhibitied in galleries and museums in major cities around the world. Look for an old two-storey French-Lao house.'

Lao Women's Union

Shop sells a variety of textiles, clothing and accessories made by village women. Upstairs is an exhibition of old and new textiles. Thanon Manh Thatourath, Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel: 17-8405

Mai Savanh Lao Mai Savanh Lao ('The Silk From Paradise'), established in Vientiane Lao PDR in 2005 and recognised by the International Fair Trade Association , grew out of an aid project aiming to generate sustainable income for underprivileged families in remote areas, doing what they have been doing for generations, from silk farming to weaving beautiful scarves. There is a weaving studio/show room in Vientiane (Ban Salakham). It is a bit out of town on the way to the Friendship Bridge. They have a silk worm rearing farm in southern Laos (Sekong province). Dr. Philippe Schmidt will gladly show you around and explain the whole process from silk worm rearing to the finished product. By appointment you will also be able to reel cocoons using the traditional method. The visit includes a free tasting of their teas (green tea, oolong tea and mulberry teas). Maï Savanh Lao Co. LTD, BP 7710, VTE Vientiane, Laos. tel/fax: [+856] (0)21 81 22 56, email: info@maisavanhlao.org
Mulberries Mulberries textile shop is located near Wat Mixay and directly across the street from Duang Duane Hotel. It offers organic and naturally dyed Lao silk. It is part of a sericulture project that operates in about five hundred villages in Northern Laos. (Also in Luang Prabang - see above) See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.
Nikone Handcraft

Primary focus is Lao cotton, household items. Also provides interior decoration services/fabrics. Call for directions. P O Box 4437, Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel: 856-21-212191, fax: 856-21-215628, Box 77, email: nikone@pan.laos.net.la

Phaeng Mai Gallery

Modern copies of old Lao textiles and a variety of other Lao weaving. 125 Nongbovathong Tai Village, Vientiane, Lao PDR, tel/fax: 856-21-217341 (Lonely Planet quotes 117 Thanon Nong Buathong) Open 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. daily. According to Lonely Planet 'The Nanthavongduangsy family's gallery is the most equipped for visitors; the large, white, two-storey house is in the centre of Ban Nong Buathong.'

Saoban Village handcrafts from the heart of Laos.  Saoban is a social business that works with traditional artisans to preserve and promote Lao village crafts including textiles and bamboo.  Visit their shop in Vientiane or shop on-line. 1-8pm Monday to Saturday. Closed Sundays. 97/1 Ban Watchan of Chao Anou Rd, Chanthabouly District, Vientiane, Lao PDR. (See good map on website.) Phone: (+856 20) 77839152, email: contact@saobancrafts.com
Satri Lao Silk Lonely Planet: 'This upmarket store offers some nicely displayed high-quality Lao silks, as well as gifts and accessories.' 79/4 Thanon Setthathilat, Vientiane. tel/fax: 219295, open 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Mon-Sat.
Shops selling Lao and Hill-tribe crafts Several shops along Thanon Samsenthai (a the main street in the Central district and the pre-eminent shopping area) and Thanon Pangkham
Talat Sao (morning market) Lonely Planet says of Talat Sao that it 'is a good place to look for fabrics and stalls with modern styles of fabric are run by Indians and Pakistanis while traditional Lao-style textiles are sold by Loa vendors. Many carry antique as well as modern fabrics, plus utilitarian items such as shoulder bags (some artfully constructed around squares of antique fabric) cushions and pillows.' 'Talat Sao is on the eastern corner of the Thanon Lan Xang and Thanon Khu Vieng. It actually runs all day, from 7.a.m. to 4.00 p.m. The sprawling collection of stalls offers fabric, ready-made clothes, jewellery, cutlery, toiletries, bedding, hardware and watches as well as electronic goods and just about anything else imaginable.' See May 2010 travel notes from Donna Lum.
Talat Sao - Loom supplies booth A booth in Talat Sao diagonally opposite Lao Antique Textiles that, according to Lonely Plant, has 'everything you will need if you're interested in building your own Lao loom or collecting the loom components....except the frame itself (which is normally made from scratch), including hand-carved wooden shuttles.'
The Art of Silk Supportd by the Lao Women's Union, Unicef and SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). Lonely Planet: The Art of Silk carries a selection of silk and cotton weavings in both traditional and modern designs. There is also a small textile museum above the shop. Thanon Manthatulat, Vientiane. Tel 214308. Open 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Mon - Sat.

also check out: http://visit-laos.com/shopping where the first shops listed are all broadly textile related - including 4 of the ones listed above which I have already linked to their websites - and some new ones

Click here for Laos country page
Click here forTravel Notes from a 2018 visit to Northern Laos by Donna Lum
Click here for Cambodia and Laos travel notes from Donna Lum

Click for textile related shops in Thailand - (including Studieo Naenna in Chiang Mai re Lao-Tai textiles)

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this page last updated 30 March, 2018