Cotton begins with cotton plants grown locally by Lao villagers. Cotton blooms are harvested and the white fluffy shroud is separated and stored in bamboo strip baskets, ready to be spun and turned first into long strands of fibre which can then be dyed into different colours, then woven into lengths of fabric.
These traditional designs and weaving skills are passed on from mothers to daughters.
The different ethnic groups in Laos, especially in the north of the country, provide a vast variety of patterns, colour schemes and designs. Garments like skirts will portray the wearer’s identity as well as their social and marital status.