FIRE, WATER AND VINEGAR

 

Carpet (3 of 19)My beautiful Lao Carpet, Part 5

The Magic Lao Carpet workshop is pleasantly cool this morning.

The three young women –  Kai, Kuan and Xud – work with incredible speed, tying knot after knot on my carpet.  They have come a long way since my last visit. It looks to me that they have passed the one million-knot-mark already.

The real beauty of the three colors – burgundy, honey and golden yellow – cannot be captured fully by my camera.

In less than a month, I might be able to pick up my carpet. I have already decided the location on the floor of my Hanoi bedroom.  It is going to be a very nice feeling to put my bare feet on the incredibly soft carpet on the chilling winter mornings of northern Vietnam.

While the knotting proceeds on my carpet, I look around in the workshop. The workers are used to me by now, and they no longer giggle and hide, when my Nikon clicks away. Other carpets are in various stages of completion.

Carpet (16 of 19)One carpet is being washed and scrubbed thoroughly, while another one is wiped with a burning piece of cloth.

Magic Lao Carpet co-owner Lani explains the final process to me:

“After the weaving is completed, the carpets are washed thoroughly.  They take 1-3 days to dry, and then we use the open flame of cotton pads soaked in Lao alcohol to remove any threads sticking out, than the surface of carpets clean again with the solution of vinegar and water, to show the real colors and beauty of the carpets” Lani says.

Carpet (9 of 19)

In another part of the workshop Tan and her colleagues are very busy, once again preparing the early stages for the next batch of carpets.  Lani tells me that new orders continue come in, most recently from China, Australia and Europe.

Considering the social aspects of Lao Magic Carpets, it is certainly nice to see, that they can continue to offer training and jobs to young disabled people, who otherwise have very little opportunities in Laos.

In a few weeks’ time I will be back to follow the final stages of my beautiful Lao carpet.

Stay tuned for the final part.

 

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