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Silk Shawls

Silk ShawlsColor your world with the elegance of shawls from Laos!

Historically, shawls have been part of traditional garments worn around the world for thousands of years. From times immemorial to the contemporary, shawls have graced every occasion and style, looking classic and timeless and modern and fashionable, all at the same time. Our shawls embody the richly creative expressions of the textile arts in Laos which reflect the aesthetics of beauty inspired by nature, traditional beliefs, and offer deep glimpses into the lives of the artisans/weavers who design and weave them.

We have to be honest though that we hadn’t thought a lot about shawls prior to the establishment of our online store. Normally when one thinks of Lao textiles one thinks of silk scarves and sinhs. Or, at least we do. But when looking through textiles we had purchased from galleries like Natural Dyes Textile Gallery in Luang Prabang and Nueykeo in Sam Neua, we realized that some were too large to be traditionally worn as a scarf, but also too beautiful to promote their use only for display and decorative purposes, and we have chosen to promote the textiles in this section with dimensions ranging from (18-28)W x (65x80)L additionally as shawls.

Shawls as fashion accessories have not always been in vogue, and the following passage provides a great historical perspective on shawls!

“We scarcely know a truer test of a gentlewoman’s taste in dress than her selection of a shawl, and her manner of wearing it: and yet if the truth must be owned, it is the test from which few women come with triumph. Generally speaking, the shawl is not their forte, in fact they are rather afraid of it. They acknowledge its comfort and convenience for the open carriage, or the sea-side promenade, but rarely recognize it for what it is, a garment capable of appearing the most feminine and graceful in the world. Women are too often oppressed by a heap of false notions on the subject and somehow have an idea that a shawl is old or dowdy.” ~A chapter on shawls in Harpers Magazine (1850)

There is no need to be afraid and here at Laos Essential Artistry we guarantee you will not look dowdy in our shawls. Just the opposite!

Silk Shawls