"Our Experiences with Ock Pop Tok's
Weaving Class in Luang Prabang Laos"
"How to Weave in Luang Prabang" was last updated on April 13, 2013
All information below is subject to change
Want to get to know Laotian culture?
Take a weaving class in Luang Prabang, and learn to weave your own colorful textiles!
I met an Australian traveler during my travels in Thailand, and we ended up taking a weaving class together in Luang Prabang (November 2007).
She was the one who suggested it, and it was perfect since I was looking for a way to get to know the Laotian culture, and at the same time testing my creative skills.
We checked out Ock Pop Tok - a weaving center and textile gallery. To get an appointment we went to their gallery in center of town.
The next day we were on our way to Ock Pop Tok's weaving center a couple of minutes outside the center of Luang Prabang.
Half-day weaving class: $ 55
2-day weaving class: $ 128
3-day weaving class: $ 190
1 day bamboo weaving class: $36
Half-day bamboo weaving class: $18
First of all, there was a presentation and a tour in the garden where they grow the trees and plants; indigo plant, tamarind plant - all of these are the basics of weaving.
Then you'll watch fat silk worms being fed papaya leaves. It's creepy to think that the silk is made by these disgusting creatures, and that we wear silk scarves made by silk WORMS!
... Then you'll learn how to spin silk, prepare dyed silk yarns (by crushing Tumeric or Lemongrass to get the colour yellow or green).
They make silk colors out of animals scats as well
We took the 1-day class (7,5 hours), and got to choose two colours and a pattern to weave a placemat. I had my very own teacher who taught me how to use my feet and hands to weave. It was fun trying something new, but also weird because learning how to handle your feet and hands like they do can seem like a big puzzle.
And sometimes an impossibility. But don't worry, even me with my clumsy movements could get a hold of it. All you need is practice! :-)
I had to study my teacher's firm and nimble movements, then copy them myself :-P
The staff here was so friendly and kept smiling all the time, especially my teacher. She couldn't speak much English, so there was a lot of pointing, nodding and body language.
Despite the lack of verbal communication, I still learned a lot! I really connected with my teacher and I taught her a little English :-)
You will feel welcome at this place!
The price also included a lunch: I remember sitting around a long table with the local weavers and the staff, eating plenty of food. I ate the fried Mekong fish, sticky rice and a sauce with chilli and tomatoes. The day kept getting better and better!
If you're interested, book a class at the gallery - Ban Vat Nong Gallery:
Address: 73/5 Ban Vat Nong
Gallery opening hours: 08.30 am - 09.00 pm
Weaving center opening hours: 09.00 am - 05.00 pm
The weaving center is on Ban Saylom.
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