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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:30 am 
Next month I am hoping to visit Laos. I am especially interested in the silk brocade scarves and shawls that are made there. From what I have read, one of the places to find these is Ban Phanom. Does anyone know the hours of their weekend market? Any other sources near Luang Prabang or Vientiane? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Laos
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 6:13 pm 
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Marilee

Welcome to the tribaltextiles.info community forum! Although you initially posted as a guest I am glad that you decided later to join the forum as our newest member!

Hopefully you may get some assistance from other forum members and I will have a hunt around for anything else I can find. However, just to make sure that you have found the resource which is on the forum and also on the main tribaltextiles.info site I am listing below some links in case you may have missed them:

If I can think of anyone who might be able to help I will 'encourage' them to post!

We would all appreciate it if you could get back to us when you return from Laos with feedback on your trip - including the answer to your own questions. I will be very happy to update my information on textile shops/markets in Laos if you can supply me with the details as assistance for future travellers.

All the very best,

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
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 Post subject: Laos
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:17 am 
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Marilee,
My husband and I spent 4 weeks in Laos last year at just this time. WE started in the north and then came down to Luang Prabang from Luang NamTha. There are some lovely shops in Luang Prabang and there is a small textile museum as well. You will need to check on the hours as it was nearly always closed when we went by. We stayed in the old section of town, which has some very excellent textile shops, one that we especially liked was just down the road from the Heritage House, where we stayed. As you face the street from Heritage House (a hotel), go to your left and head toward the water. This is the temple district and there are many small stores with some excellent examples of weaving. The night market in Luang Prabang is an excellent place to eat and to shop, but for better weavings, head to the shops in the temple district. In Vientanne, the big market there is a good place, but I think Luang Prabang is better, better prices. If you want more information, just let me know. The silk weaving in Laos is so amazingly fine and detailed. I'm sure you will be pleased.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 10:27 pm 
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Thank you. I will look forward to all replies and will report upon my return.


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 Post subject: Lao textiles..
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:50 pm 
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OK, I finally had a chance to sit down with my Lonely Planet guide to Laos (Jan 2002 edition) and look through for information on Ban Phanom and other textile info.

First of all Ban Phanom: page 211 of the Lonely Planet Guide under ‘Luang Prabang Province – Around Luang Prabang, Ban Phanom & Mouhot’s Tomb’ says:

Quote:
“This Thai Lu village east of Luang Prabang, around 4km past Wat Pa Phon to the north-east of town, is well known for cotton and silk hand-weaving. The quaint old textile market has been replaced by a new cement trading centre. Nowadays you can buy Ban Phanom silk less expensively from retailers in Luang Prabang than in Ban Phanom, but the village is still worth a wander around to watch the weavers in action on their hand-looms.”


I have looked at both Vientiane and Luang Prabang in the Lonely Planet for the shops/markets selling textiles. I am thinking of updating my Laos shops (originally based on the Textile Society of Hong Kong recommendations) to include the Lonely Planet info. I will post a note when I have done that. Meanwhile I was interested in some info on pages 162, 163 ‘Vientiane – Shopping, Textiles and Clothing’:

Quote:
"Talat Sao is a good place to look for fabrics; the stalls with modern styles of fabric are run by Indians and Pakistanis while traditional Lao-style textiles are sold by Lao 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.

To see Lao weaving in action, seek out the weaving district of Ban Nong Buathong, north-east of the town centre in Muang Chanthabuli. 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.

Phaeng Mai Gallery (tel: 217341, 117 Thanon Nong Buathong) Open 10am-6pm daily. 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……..”


There is more info which I will add to the main web site when I get a chance to type it up. I think that I would recommend the Lonely Planet guide as a good one to take as your basic guide. It is not too big and heavy which is always a consideration with me!

Hope that this is helpful.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:31 pm 
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As promised I have updated the information on the Laos: textile related shops page on the main website to incorporate information from Lonely Planet - see: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Countrie ... _shops.htm I thought that the information on Vientiane was especially interesting. I thought that Lonely Planet gave helpful and sypathetic information about textiles.

I hope I have typed everything accurately - I will be printing off to double check against the guide book and will correct any typos.

Do contact me with any further information, corrections or positive/negative comments about any shop/gallery in the listing. Please be aware that I don't have any personal experience of shops listed (unless I specifically mention any).

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:47 pm 
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Marilee

When you are in Luang Prabang do try and visit Keomontree Duangbupha's shop. I have today received an email from a satisfied customer who had just bought 2 textiles:
Quote:
I would highly recommend that anyone interested in learning a bit about Lao textiles, and purchasing beautiful work with confidence, contact him or better yet spend some time in his shop. He is very serious, knowledgable, and patient with those less informed (like me!). He has a great collection of very interesting pieces and he may well have turned me into a collector.
He had taken the trouble to let me know Keo's new email address (which I have now updated on the Lao shops web page). At the beginning of September 2003 I had an email from a Frenchman who had tried the old email and his email had bounced back. He too was very positive about Keo:
Quote:
Keomontree is a great specialist on Lao textiles and a very nice person whom I have met several times.

Sounds to me as if a visit to Luang Prabang should most definitely include the pleasure of an encounter with Mr Keomontree Duangbupha!

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:44 am 
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I have found that the best place to get high quality antique pieces in vientiane is from Madame Chanthone at Lao Antique Textiles at the morning market (Talat Sao). She's expensive, but generally has a fine selection. Don't buy anything at her shop, until you have visited her home, where she has a much larger selection. Hint- do some research in the available books and know what type of Lao pieces you want- Tai Daeng
ikot or supplimental weft, Tai Lue or whatever. It will allow you time to look. There simply are too many textiles in Laos to choose from. I could hunt through piles of textiles for months. Ask for what you want, skirts, shawls, etc. Also, if your budget is low, aim for the mosquito net bottoms. Cheap, but can have great weaving.

Bill


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 Post subject: mosquito net borders
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:25 am 
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Bill

Many thanks for your helpful info. I will see about adding a 'feedback' note to the Lao shops page.

'mosquito net bottoms' - I believe that the attractive borders are actually the 'headers' to the curtains. See http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Gallerie ... o_nets.htm on the main www.tribaltextile.info site where there are some helpful photos of complete nets. I saw some quite nice ones in one of the shops on the mezanine floor of the night bazaar in Chiang Mai in Oct 03. Susan Stem of http://www.tribaltrappings.com/ can probably source some for anyone keen to add to their collection as Richard Mook and I have had some nice ones through her.

Anyway, heading or bottoms, the borders can certainly contain some skilled weaving.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:23 pm 
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Thanks to all the great advice for sorces of textiles in Laos. To pinpoint a specific place where one might find some great pieces is difficult. When in Laos, you are never far from agreat undiscovered perfect textiles. A few years ago I was in northern Laos and a western woman approached me and asked where She could find textiles. She was quite frustrated that she was not finding the pieces she wanted and did not hesitate to rattle off a list of credentilals?????? verifying her expertise in the collecters world. As she asked me this I could hardly keep from laughing as we were in the middle of a market with hundreds of great pieces. She was expecting a source to be clearly identified when the actual source was the old Hmong woman selling acculturated textiles with a single great piece tucked into the corner of her mat. she was never expecting to sell this dirty old piece because after all who would be crazy enough to buy it. Bottom line, "look outside the box".

Pictures are an excellent translator, bring as many as you can of pieces you would like to find. The language barrier is your biggest obstacle. Learn a new phrase every day. Be polite, have patience and success will follow. Some of my best pieces have taken 5 or more days to find from a single source. As someone understands what you like, intelligence from afar will trickle in and eventually the piece will majically appear along with many that will not interest you. In the interim you have forged a relationship with someone as you now have an excuse to stop and see them every day. One may also take note that not all Lao people can communicate with eachother. Most lowland Lao do not speak the languages of the hilltribes. Another obstacle, as most of your travel related business will be conducted with Lao Loum (people of the lowland) . Another thought to consider is the negotiation of a price. The Lao Loum are not as ruthless bargainers as say the Thai or Chinese. a price reached is often not far from the original asking price. As for negotiating with hilltribes, for the most part the asking price is the price . Be very careful not to offend by lowballing the hilltribes. What was a great experience can quickly turn sour. Prices of textiles are much cheaper upcountry than in Vientiane, but the selection is much more consolidated at the Morning market. Bargaining is more of the norm here.

Good luck, let us know how your trip turns out.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:11 am 
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I have found out over the years that it is best to buy one great antique piece than a bunch of lesser pieces. I would rather sinlk all of my money into one museum-quality piece than be able to have a lot of pieces that won't last the test of time.

Bill Hornaday


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