Flexibility at work: a reality at Soieries

If we regularly talk about the magnificent know-how of our artisans, we more rarely take the time to share their daily lives at Soieries du Mékong.

In this article you will learn a little more about this topic and how it has evolved over the years.


From 2001 to today: weaving and tailoring workshops

When Soieries du Mékong was created, a large number of weavers weaved at home, because Soieries du Mékong did not have enough space dedicated to weavers within its workshops.

Little by little, the premises became organized and were able to expand thanks to patrons, including the Hermès foundation .

Today we have two weaving workshops in the heart of the village of Banteay Chhmar. These two workshops complemented our main workshop in which, in addition to the storage of raw materials, the teams carry out all the stages of preparing the looms, from the dyeing of the raw materials, including winding, warping, the upper… as well as the finishing steps: washing, ironing, embroidery, etc.


Ateliers de tissage des foulards en soie



Gradual evolution: listening to the needs of artisans

The creation of weaving workshops was done little by little to meet different needs: 

  • the desire of weavers and teams to be able to help each other, improve their skills and share by weaving alongside each other
  • proximity to preparation workshops to facilitate wire requests, quality control and responsiveness in general.

Today, for each new class of weavers, training takes place over six months in the workshops. During this period, the weavers learn the basics of weaving, practice on different models and weaves (weaving techniques); they are trained by an experienced weaver who can answer all their questions.


les tisserandes s'entraident


When the weavers are ready to weave the Soieries du Mékong collections, we discuss with them their needs, their expectations and the best possible organization for them in their work.


The needs of weavers in their daily lives in the village

Life in Banteay Chhmar is difficult to imagine when you live on the other side of the world.

Residents travel on foot, by bike or by small motorbike, often just one for the whole family, from children to grandparents. It is not uncommon to see five or six people on the same motorcycle.

So, going to work more than one or two kilometers from home can be a long distance and a hindrance.


Tisserandes à moto quittant l'atelier de tissage

Furthermore, in Cambodia, nursery classes are rare or non-existent and school starts around age six (CP equivalent). Children therefore stay at home until this age. As parents have to work, they are usually the grandparents who take care of the grandchildren during the day. If this is not possible, children follow their parents to work.

It is therefore to face these two problems that today, some of our weavers weave at home. When their living space is far from the workshops or when they have to look after their children during the day, working from home allows them more flexibility! 

Our quality team makes sure to visit them regularly and are available if the weaver requests them. This flexibility allows the weavers as well as the entire team more peace of mind!



 Do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions about our organization or the daily lives of our artisans, we are happy to share an overview of Soieries du Mékong et de Banteay Chhmar when we can!

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