Photo Credit: Megan Williams
Teenaged girls dying silk at the Siem Reap silk co-op.
Revitalizing Silk
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Cambodia used to have a thriving silk industry. Hand-dyed and woven silk textiles were among the best in Asia. Some even hang in the Smithsonian. When the Khmer Rouge regime seized power in the 70s, the hand-woven silk industry disappeared -- along with an estimated 1.5-million people. Now, 30 years later, a Japanese man is reviving the art of silk weaving. He spent years scouring the country for surviving artisans to learn the secrets of the trade. Now, there are more than 300 employees in his workshop reviving a piece of Cambodia’s artistic past. Megan Williams has a reporter’s notebook.
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