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Taykeo Textile Gallery
Taykeo Textile Gallery is one of our favorite textile galleries in Laos and we encourage anyone who is going to visit Laos and is in Vientiane, the capitol, to stop by Taykeo’s gallery and museum. Her phone number is 314031 and her gallery is only about five minutes from downtown by tuk tuk. Taykeo just finished construction of a three-story building alongside the gallery that houses a museum on the first floor, weavers on the second floor, and special display areas on the third floor. You will have to call ahead to make reservations to see the changing museum collection.
There is no other textile gallery owner in Laos as friendly and approachable as Taykeo. It is easy to fall under her spell when one is in Taykeo’s gallery surrounded by all her exquisitely beautiful silk textiles. Taykeo loves to tell visitors how she started her collection, when she began her silk business, why she fell in love with ancient textiles and what she would love to achieve in her life. She will also take the time to explain the meanings of different ancient motifs, different techniques of making a pattern and techniques of dying with natural ingredients.
In addition, Taykeo has worked with Oxfam to train weavers in remote, rural southern villages as she realizes that the skills of the traditional art of weaving need to be encouraged and supported if they are not to disappear. She also is working on the creation of silk farms (sericulture – the raising of silkworms and the spinning of silk yarn) in the northern part of Laos so she will always have a supply of true Lao silk, which is in very limited supply. Taykeo’s use of Lao silk imparts a sensuousness to her textiles that makes them irresistible. They beg to be touched and worn, and it’s our challenge through this online website to try to convey some of that sensuousness through our photos…
Taykeo prides herself in the revival of traditional textiles and has one of the largest antique textiles collections in Laos. She writes that “40 have been identified as masterpieces based upon their particular design and their perfect craftsmanship. Her collection encompasses different regional styles such as Hua Phan, Xieng Khuang, Vientiane and Pakse. “Different techniques are also covered by this collection such as ikat (tied & dyed), “khit” or supplementary weft and “muk” which is made of two combined warps for one single weft.
Concerned about the over commercialization, simplification and lack of quality control in hand-woven textiles, Taykeo has worked hard to revive natural dye techniques and upgrade the standards of weaving. Her weavers now produce complicated patterns with conformity to traditional colors and designs. Photos included on the page show Taykeo weavers at their looms using antique textiles as their patterns. In the group photo of Taykeo with her weavers, each weaver is holding a textile they have woven.
Taykeo’s weavers are true artists and while Taykeo will work with the weavers in their selection of silk yarn colors they’ll use for a particular pattern, the weavers are allowed the freedom to interpret their use of the selected color yarns in the pattern. The fusion of Taykeo’s vision with the artistry of the weaver is magical as you can see in the textiles we offer here.
While our selection is limited, we hope to expand it in the near future and can work with customers who would like to custom order textiles from Taykeo and help create their own work of art.