Cambodian silk is dyed and woven by hand. The standard width of silk is 90 cm and it contains about 2500 threads, or 27 threads per centimetre! A length of silk is 3.50 metres and can take an experienced weaver up to three weeks to produce.
Silk is dyed with chemical or natural plant-based dyes. Natural dyes are usually paler, and each color is available only at certain times of the year. The method of dyeing is ‘Ikat’, where the pattern is dyed into each thread before it is woven on a traditional loom.
Rehab Craft can supply dress lengths (k’bun) of about 3.50 metres and ikat scarves in any of the patterns in our range, traditional checked scarf (krama) in cotton or silk. With a bit of time, one of our weavers can also create exclusive silk patterns for you – but remember it takes at least 3 weeks per k’bun! We can also supply longer lengths of silk on request.
Our main silk suppliers are rural women’s cooperatives (One of Rehab Craft’s aims is to support self-employment amongst Cambodia’s most economically-disadvantaged communities). These include dozens of skilled weavers – Rehab Craft uses nearly a kilometre of silk each month!
Many color and design range of hand-woven silks that are available. RCC designs its own silk patterns and colors. We can often find plain silks in different colors, although lighter shades are more difficult than strong colors. We can also work with you to design your own silks, but this does require some time, and an initial investment from you. To find out more, send us an e-mail.
We can customise your products in two ways. First, we can make a gold stamp to introduce your company or event as with the presentation folios used at the Ottawa Anti-Landmine Treaty Conference in 1997 and the more recent Quest Room folios for Angkor and Goldiana Hotels in Siem Reap. Second, we can make products based on your own samples or sketches, exclusively for you. We will ask you to cover the cost of producing the sample, and you will have no obligation to order additional products. Because we make our goods individually, we can also make them differently – to reflect your own tastes, or the import regulations in your country.
SILK AND LEATHER
All goods with stock codes SL combine hand-woven silk with nappa sheep leather. However, leather is expensive to import into some markets, including Japan. Therefore, RCC can also produce the same goods without leather – either by using a single silk for a simpler look, or by substituting a contrasting silk for the leather. Check our price list for the costs.
WITH OR WITHOUT PAPER
Some of our products are made to cover standard-sized pads of paper – such as the post-it notes. To save on weight and freight charges, we can ship those goods ’empty’, that is, without the paper inside. You can buy the paper yourself, and it’s often cheaper than Cambodian prices. Note that other paper products are not listed with this price option, such as the memo pads. Those products contain custom-made notepads. We can still ship them ’empty’, but you would have to have your own notepads printed to size. You might consider this if you want to print stationery with your company name. Or, you can send us the dimensions of notepads in your own country, and we’ll make the covers in the same style.
CREATING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
RCC can implement your own designs, in your own name. That is, we can make a sample of your design and guarantee that it remains your exclusive product. To do this, we need a drawing or sample, with dimensions and full details; or a photograph to work from. We will ask you to buy the sample, but you have no obligation to order additional stock. If you have a label or logo, we will use it – but please ensure that your labelling fills your import requirements!
If you’re ordering goods for use as promotional gifts, or for a particular event, why not add your name? Our first such order was for the presentation folios which were used at the Ottawa Anti-Landmine Treaty Conference (some hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap) and they continue to be used by the Canadian Landmines Action Team for formal presentations. We can produce a printer’s block (or embroidery) with your company name or details of the event, at a cost of about US$40-50, plus 15-25 cents per product on which the stamp appears. The block can be printed directly onto plain silk, or a leather inset can be added. Let us know the size of the documents you’ll be presenting, and we’ll make the folios to suit.
House #50, St.Phlauv, Sangkat Toeuk Thla, Khan Sen Sok, Phnom Penh • +855 23 882 685 / +855 12 879 314