Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm        Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm

The National Silk Centre is 16 kilometers west of Siem Reap on Route 6.

We enjoyed the tour through this centre, there is no charge and you have your own personal guide. The tour starts right from the beginning with the planting of the mulberry trees which are used for raising the silkworms.

They feed on these leaves until they reach the cocoon stage.

Then you will see the artisans extracting the silk threads from the cocoon shells using hand reels. The threads are then treated and dyed with colors from all natural products prior to spooling. Some of the items take weeks or even months to make and many are collectors items.
 

Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm        Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm

The National Silk Centre also has a fantastic shop that sells many silk products including ready to wear men's and women's clothing, fashion accessories, cushions, silk bedding etc. There is also a small collection of sculptures and statues. 

I have a lot more info on this shop under my shopping pages along with photos of some items we bought there. 

After you have finished your tour and shopping at the Artisans d'Angkor National Silk Centre step outside to their outdoor Cafe and have something to eat or a nice cold drink.
 

Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm        Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm

Artisans d'Angkor was created to help young people find work in their home villages, allowing them to practice their crafts and providing them with a vocation and a role in society.

Artisans d'Angkor is intended to provide a sustainable and fair development for arts and crafts in Siem Reap province, offering young artisans a job on-site or in its rural workshops in and around Siem Reap. It gives artisans fulfilling and stable working conditions and provides them with a vocation, so that they can express their talents and continue to develop their skills.

Artisans d'Angkor was created in 1999 as part of a 3-year supported project to professionally integrate young artisans that had been trained by the Chantiers-Ecoles de Formation Professionnelle. The CEFP are a Cambodian state-run organization that aims at providing the training required by young people (most of them living in the rural areas and having received little education), and at preparing them for their professional integration.

The CEFP have contributed to reviving traditional craft jobs (stone & wood carving, lacquering, gilding and silk-related jobs). There are 2 training centers, the Craftsmanship centre for stone and wood carving, gilding and lacquering and the National Silk Centre for mulberry tree growing, silkworm breeding and treatment of the thread, then the weaving.

 Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm 2006        Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm 2012

Both centers have free great guided tours that are definitely well worth doing.  After the tours look around the shops and maybe buy some good quality gifts to take back home. I certainly did!!

Artisans d’Angkor is now completely self-financed.

It invests in new apprenticeships and skill creation via continuous training, sets up new rural village workshops and participates in major projects in order to promote Cambodian culture and handicrafts, as for the 2005 World Expo.

It has created over 700 jobs both for artisans (550) and non-craftsmen. Fifteen workshops are operating in villages in Siem Reap province for craft jobs such as stone and wood carving, lacquering, gilding and silk-related jobs.

Since its creation, Artisans d'Angkor has pioneered a new social policy in Cambodia, guaranteeing levels of pay and social and medical welfare. The artisans have also formed an association which has a 20% stake in the company.

 

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