golden thread silks

Golden Thread Silks specializes in handloomed silk made in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. We are dedicated to supporting the exceptional weaving and dying traditions of small textile enterprises throughout Southeast Asia. Because these unique textiles are made by hand, they will have variations and irregularities. These are not flaws but an integral part of the silk and contribute to its beauty and rare quality. We hope that you find this fabric as intriguing and inspiring as we have.

OUR VIETNAMESE FABRIC

Vietnam has a centuries-old tradition of silk weaving and embroidery. Golden Thread Silks carries Vietnamese fabrics woven in villages that have been producing silks for nearly a thousand years. These textiles are made by small family weaving enterprises using traditional methods of thread spinning, weaving and dyeing. Some of our favorite fabric is woven on old Jacquard looms to which small electric motors have been added. The jacquard loom, originally introduced by the French, controls individual warp threads through a system of punched cards. Fabric produced on these old looms in generally 33"-36" wide. Dyeing is done by hand in small batches.

Each jacquard pattern has its own story and place in Vietnamese culture. For example, the design known as "Old Money", featuring a stylized ancient Vietnamese coin, is at least one hundred years old and is often seen in old photos of robes worn by Mandarin officials in the colonial era. The "Broche" features Chinese characters for "longevity" and "double happiness", as well as bamboo (flexibility) and apricot blossom (one of the four noble flowers); this pattern is nearly a century old. "Wine Flask and Poetry Bag," which alternates these two elements in a repeating diamond pattern, evokes elements of a poem by a famous 18th century Vietnamese women poet. "Birdcage and Lantern" weaves the symbols associated with happiness and good fortune in lunar new year and mid-autumn celebrations.

We have recently discovered Ebony satin, a lustrous silk that s handwoven in southern Vietnam and naturally dyed using the pods of the ebony fruit. This all-natural fabric has a remarkable hand, soft and supple, almost like fine leather. The natural dye is colorfast, and does not run or fade. The fabric dates back at least a century, but knowledge of its production was all but lost during the war. Weaving of ebony satin was revitalized only a few years ago by the designer Vo Viet Chung. We are pleased to offer this beautiful fabric, an important piece of Vietnam's silk weaving history.

Article written by Golden Thread Silks

See our selection of Vietnamese Silks