Silkworm Breeding and Silk-Weaving Operations in Rural Cambodia

Dr. Bernard Dupaigne is a retired professor now at the National Museum of Natural History and was a CKS Senior Fellow in 2017. His research project, a film on silk in Cambodia, examines the present state of silk production in Cambodian villages and assembles a province-by-province corpus of Cambodian silks.

Dr. Bernard’s film chronicles silkworm-breeding and silk-weaving operations in rural Cambodia. The featured weavers recount their successes as well as the many difficulties inherent to their field of work. The current situation for Cambodia’s weavers is a complex one: silk skirts have become too expensive for urban consumers, widespread pesticide use has caused silkworm die-offs, and more than 700,000 young women now work in garment factories – unwilling to return to a traditional style of weaving still reeling from the disruptions of the Khmer Rouge period and industrialization.

Ce film évoque les diverses opérations des tissages de soie au Cambodge (élevage des vers à soie, préparation des fils, teintures, tissages). Les tisserandes détaillent leurs succès et leurs problèmes.

Les Khmers Rouges (1975-1979) ont rendu impossible la transmission des traditions. La clientèle a diminué : les vêtements industriels font aux jupes de soie une concurrence redoutable. L’usage des pesticides dans les rizières provoque la mort des vers à soie.

Les tisserandes gagnent peu ; plus de 700 000 jeunes femmes travaillent dans les nouvelles usines de confection internationale, ce qui leur assure des rendements réguliers, et une indépendance financière par rapport à leurs parents.

Silkworm Breeding and Silk-Weaving Operations in Rural Cambodia video inside

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