IKTT (Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles), from SiemReap Cambodia
IKTT (Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles), from SiemReap Cambodia

Wearing the hand made clothes

I always recommend the customers who come to IKTT to put on the IKTT hand made textiles. It is by the reason I actually want the customers to feel the difference of our textiles. I want young people, who say they can not buy the expensive textiles, to wear and feel our textiles. It is not pressure for sales.

When people hold the textile in their hand, they feel rather heavy. But when they put on shoulder, unbelievably they do not feel any weight. It is mysterious. And the textiles have warmth. I explain that the weaver's warmth remains in the textiles. They reel into raw silk thread from cocoon by hand. And young trainees do hard work to clean the threads one by one, and the textiles are then dyed and weaved, all done by hands.

The textiles include such hearts of the weavers. It is wonder that the textile do not fall when people put on shoulder. The textiles fit their body. People can feel them to become part of their body, it become synchronized. I want the customers to feel such things.

I think such textiles existed commonly up to 100 years ago. In the past, people knew that such hand-made clothes existed ordinarily and even knew that the raw materials like the threads and dyeing stuff were brought from where and were brought by whom.

I think those things that are not heartfelt can not be called as hand-made. The skills and experiences are important but the most important thing is human heart. A really good thing can not be created without human heart.

People usually think silks are all the same, but there are different silks. Each of silkworms and the way to reel threads are all different. It is completely different between the raw silk produced by mass produced machine made and the hand-made in old style raw silk.

The silk produced by giving a priority on large-scale production made by machine are weak and in low-quality. I do not want to call them as silk. Such silk clothes are made in accepting to base on disposable one with fashion. Even I think they are other kind of clothes.

The blouses made by IKTT silk are able to be worn 10 or 20 years, but the cheap silk blouses made by machine are only 1 or 2 years. It is the same as old-time Kimono. The hand-made silk clothes have been succeeded from mother to daughter. And not only high quality clothes but the hand-made clothes have such quality of world.

Sometimes visitors who came to IKTT gave up buying the textiles because of high price and went to near old market or the other shops, and came back again to IKTT. Why they came back is that they already knew about the difference of hand feeling. If the price is different ten times, the value is more than the price difference. We become to be able to produce such textiles.

Getting back the nature that enable to create such clothes, people live in there and produce clothes. IKTT clothes have such people's heart. So when the customers wear it, they feel comfortable like taking good medicine. And it is a kind of wearing people's heart and the nature.

And also it is the traditional world accumulated in Cambodian rich natures.

Morimoto Kikuo
Translation by Mr.Takurou MATSUOKA

update : January 10, 2009 1:52 PM

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