Why is Lao hand-weaving special?
Coming from Europe and on our first visit to Laos in 2001, my co-founder and I were mesmerized when we first came across Lao hand weaving. Nowhere had we seen such intricate patterns and skilled weaving before. What made this particular hand woven fabric special was the use of silk, color and complex geometric brocade designs, the combination of which is unique to the region of South East Asia.
Moreover, there is a deeper meaning to all the designs that are still in use in the Lao people’s everyday lives. Whether it’s a visit to the temple or a wedding ceremony, in this devout Buddhist country, traditional woven textiles play an important role. Usage keeps the traditions alive in Laos as opposed to their neighbors where hand-woven fabric for everyday use has fallen by the wayside.
I set up the company in 2004 with a challenge to preserve these ancient weaving skills by producing consistent, high-quality fabric and thus bring regular sustenance to the artisans. The company would weave traditional designs using the finest silk threads available on the market and adapt those designs to the modern world of the 21st Century, while maintaining the unique spiritual feel of the fabric.
Soie de Lune’s silk became popular with the world’s top interior designers who worked together with us, developing the style and color to match their exquisite projects, mainly in the Americas and Europe. The company expanded its range of yarns and designs, sourcing fancy Italian silks, linens and wools as well as organic cottons and hemps from Thailand and China.
The very nature of hand weaving is a sustainable and ethical way of producing fabric. It is harnessed to create special contemporary fabrics, based on the traditions of Lao hand-weaving. Soie de Lune also has the means to create color with its modern dyeing facility, the only one in the country and it takes the opportunity to teach and train apprentices while on the job.
Soie de Lune’s mission is a simple one; based on solid business practices, ensure that the artisans of Laos have a future. Since the country’s only artistic expression is through these dedicated weaving endeavors and for it to thrive now and in the years to come, the fabric produced must be useful and have a solid raison d’être.
Daniel Marcus. Co-founder & CEO, Soie de Lune