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25.03.2019 | Юлия Ригби

Cambodia is ready for a fashion boom

Former french colony and former The People's Democratic Republic of Kampuchea, and now the Kingdom of Cambodia, today rediscovers weaving and silk production.

Belgian and French enthusiasts teach at the charity center in Siem Reap young peasant women weaving, silk painting and sewing.

Golden silk cocoons and silk painting

The British women came here to open a small production and help novice Khmer designers to hold the Cambodian Fashion Week, which takes place annually in December. Several French entrepreneurs and designers have also moved to thisAsian kingdom. They have created their own production and are sewing models in Siem Reap, the ancient capital of the Khmer kingdom, turned into the main tourist center of the country.

Cambodian silk of golden hue is very highly valued and is considered an absolute rarity

And under Phnom Penh brands like Burberry and Diesel feel comfortable today. Both luxury Houses and more democratic brands are primarily interested in silk of the highest quality, because silk fabric is produced here not only from white silkworm cocoons, but also the rarest golden silk (silkworm cocoons are smaller than usual and of a sunny golden hue).


Hand weaving of silk in Cambodia

Hand-made silk products made on small looms are highly valued in the world. Connoisseurs buy scarves, shawls, tunics and bags. But Cambodia has already started producing silk blankets, silk bed linen, and home textiles (paths, sachets, silk tablecloths). Foreign entrepreneurs are also attracted by local unique conditions for business development, since almost any foreigner can not only open a production here in a couple of minutes, but also work according to the simplified tax payment scheme (if at the same time, production workers are exempt from taxes by the decision of the government and the king personally ). The average salary of a seamstress or a weaver is 150 US dollars, and profits of less than 10,000 US dollars per month are not taxed. This serves as an incentive for the development of small industries or workshops that successfully sell their products through Internet portals. At the same time, a hand-woven silk dress costs the buyer 169 USD 200, which makes them incredibly competitive even compared to Chinese silk products.


The Asian fashion industry is carefully looking at the emerging market of silk and its products in Cambodia. It is likely that in a few years these productions will come under the control of Chinese companies that do not intend to cede leadership in the production of silk products to a small dilapidated country next door. Nevertheless, today in Cambodia there are all conditions for the entry of Russian entrepreneurs into this country. And we can occupy a niche in the fashion industry of the Asian kingdom if we hurry up.

Photo: Yulia Malakhova