Ancient handicraft from Turkmenistan and the best of Lao design traditions join hands in MAGIC LAO CARPETS.
The little workshop is so quiet that you can almost hear the fingers knotting the fine silk threads with amazing speed. The young women are sitting there two by two or four by four focusing intently on transforming the colorful flower photos into handmade silk carpets of the highest quality.
We are at Magic Lao Carpets a small workshop and a showroom in a Vientiane alley. Slowly, slowly the most beautiful and unique carpets are emerging to be sold to affluent customers in Laos and abroad.
“The carpets are made by up to 700.000 knots per square meter. This means that two girls can do approx. 2 cm. per day,” owner Souvita Phaseuth tells me. She goes by the name of Lani in the local community.
Magic Lao Carpets has been set up by Lani and her husband Ismit, who immigrated to Laos from his native Turkmenistan 30 years ago. He brought the 4.000 year old carpet making craft of Central Asia with him to his new country. Lani on her part has brought the Lao traditional designs into Magic Lao Carpets.
Surely, you cannot fly on these carpets, but their amazing beauty does make you want to.
In the courtyard, two young women are giving the finishing touch to a stunningly colorful carpet made to order by a boutique in the UK.
Behind them two other women are busy spinning the fine silk thread, which is mostly produced by the company’s own silk farm.
Magic Lao Carpet is not merely a business, but also an important opportunity for young disabled Laotians to develop skills and make a living.
Souvita Phaseuth: “We offer training and accommodation to our workers, who would otherwise have great difficult in making a living, being dumb, deaf or suffering from other physical disabilities. Some choose to return to their villages and set up their own small businesses, while others continue to stay with us.”
Magic Lao Carpet is located at Ban Nongdouang Tai in Vientiane’s Sikhottabong district. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 Mon-Sat.