Bringing it all back home
The Silk Road, sometimes called the Silk Route, spread across Asia from China to Italy and from Mongolia to India. But To England? Our shopping expeditions to the bazaars of the Orient have extended the Silk Road to England! Take a look at the silk weaving and embroideries from India, Laos, Indonesia and Afghanistan that we've collected over the last 40 years.
You can buy Silk Icat Bedspreads from India, glorious colourful patchwork designs using that wonderful weaving technique called Icat. To make Icat the warp and weft threads are tie dyed before the fabric is woven - a painstaking process that produces slightly fuzzy edged patterns and a process so valued that many countries and cultures claim to have been the originator.
Silk Cushion Covers
And then there are vibrant silk cushions made from beautiful individual strips of fabric in contemporary designs, pieces of abstract art.
Silk takes dyestuffs very well which enables these vibrant colours to be achieved and, in addition to it's light weight and warmth has always made it a highly valued material used by the wealthy to show their status.
Duvet Covers from Laos
We made a trip to Laos, partly because of our interest in it as a Buddhist country but also because of it's weaving tradition, especially in silks.
At Luang Prabang we spent time with local weavers, almost exclusively women weaving in their gardens at home. It's an old tradition, a true cottage industry in that the women often make natural dyes from plants and minerals in their local vicinity. They are superb weavers and we commissioned silk duvet covers as well as the traditional Pha Tung prayer flags woven for the Buddhist New Year.