Mekong Blue Silk

Our products are hand-woven and dyed in Cambodian traditional techniques using 100% natural silk and the highest quality non-toxic German dyes. From dyeing, spinning, and washing of the silk to the weaving, and finishing of the scarves, each process is conducted by hand. As testament to the skill involved, our products have received three UNESCO Awards of Excellence for Handicraft Products in Southeast Asia. All products are made by the women of SWDC and all proceeds go to support our various projects.

WHO WE ARE

The Stung Treng Women’s Development Center (SWDC) is a humanitarian non-governmental organization in Cambodia with two parallel missions: producing Mekong Blue silk products, and providing work and a social safety net for the community of Sre Pro village, in Stung Treng Province.

By offering both employment and social welfare services, SWDC helps break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy for vulnerable people, especially women in Stung Treng Province. Our projects help families support themselves financially, while empowering them with knowledge they can use for the rest of their lives. 

THE SILK WEAVING PROCESS: 

1. Raw silk has to be washed in hot water before we can use it for weaving. (1 day)

2. Our color team dye the washed silk using a high quality non-toxic German dye. The bundles are let to air dry. (1 day)

3. Each bundle is spun by hand into a plastic spool. (1 day)

4. Our warp is about 5 meters long (5.5 yards). To finish warping for a loom, a weaver would have walked about 5 kilometers (3.1 miles)  from one end of the warping board to another. (1 day)

5. The warp is then threaded through a reed and then through some heddles to finish setting up the loom for weaving. (4 days for a plain scarf, and 11-15 days for a jacquard pattern)

6. Once the loom is set, it takes about one and a half day to weave a plain (modern) scarf, 6-7 days to weave a jacquard scarf and 5 days to weave an Ikat* scarf.

7. Each finished scarf goes through a quality control team who checks for weaving errors before washing and ironing them.

*Ikat is a tradition dyeing technique that has been passed on from generations in Cambodia. Threads are tied in a small warping board, tied by sections with a plastic strings, the bundles are then removed for the dyeing process. They are air dried and the process is repeated until the design is ready for weaving. A piece of wall hanging called, Pidan, takes 80-90 days to finish the dyeing process and 14 days to finish weaving.

A Pidan is a Cambodian traditional art that was only allowed for display in the Cambodian Royal Palace before the civil war. Our Pidan are sold to many museums both in Cambodia and the United States. If you are interested in Purchasing a Pidan, please contact chantha@mekongblue.com for various designs and sizes. 

"Now, I live independently. I have become the breadwinner of my family."

Nuon Srey Nim

Master Ikat

Location

Our center is located in Stung Treng Province, Cambodia. We also have multiple stores in Cambodia including Siem Riep and Phnom Penh. 

Address

Street 2, Stung Treng Province, Cambodia

Center Hours

Monday — Saturday

8:00 AM — 5 PM

Sunday

Closed