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■Dyeing and textile - manufacturing with a view to a better future (Part 2) (2013/01/31)

Period: Saturday, December 22, 2012 through Saturday, December 29, 2012
Instructor: Luna Nakagawa (An artist)
Assistant: Ayaka Ohnuma (visited Cambodia as a Reporter of Friendship in 2007)

* Our Income Generating Activities (IGA), and dispatch of specialists are supported by the Japan International Cooperation Foundation (JICF), a public interest incorporated foundation.

Tuesday, December 25
Day 2 of training

Exercise (1)

BTB D2-1

BTB D2-2
Chopped fire wood and lit the fire for dyeing. The person in the back is Ayaka Ohnuma, the assistant (a Reporter of Friendship in 2007). She is a high-spirited 20 years old!

Each student made their own color reference sheet, since mastering the color within a few days is difficult.

"Easy color reference sheet"
The pairs of the opposite colors in color circle are called complementary colors, and they are considered difficult to match. I explained briefly about these color usage because they would not be attractive to be sold well in Japan.

BTB D2-3
Color reference sheet is complete!

BTB D2-4
It is hard to adjust the fire intensity. It even gets hotter on an already hot day…

BTB D2-5
Putting the threads after water is boiled would cause irregularity in dyeing result. Put the threads when water is about 40- 50 degree Celsius, and then gradually heat water to the boiling temperature. Check the thermometer!

Because it was such a tight schedule, it was hard to believe it was only Day 2 of the training, but everybody kept up very well. As a review of the previous day's exercise, we made "color reference sheet" so each participants will have a future method to consult. The contents of teaching was, to distinguish the subtle color differences, to make product colors consistent; if the same order is received, even slight color difference is not allowed. And most of all, to be able to use more of colors and yet to be known colors than those they like or those they are surrounded by.

One of the participants Khena has hearing impairment. But she thought through each exercise carefully, and she used her own method. While other participants draw a circle free-hand, she made two holes on a sheet of paper, used one hole as a point of support, put a pencil in the other hole and pivot the sheet to draw a perfect circle. It made me think if each participant tries their original design, something interesting might be created.

Wednesday, December 26
Day 3 of training

BTB D3-1
BTB D3-2
Measuring dyes... Concentrating.

Small color sample trial dyeing
We cut 250 cc plastic bottles and marked every 50 cc to use it as measuring cups. A drawback was, they lost strength when too much hot water was poured at one time. Everybody poured a little bit at a time. Silk dyes we bought at Phnom Penh did not work at all, so we used cotton dyes we brought from Japan.

BTB D3-3
Please wear gloves. It is way too
BTB D3-4
wild to use bare hands in hot water.

Testing of silk softness

There were some complaints that woven products felt hard. I wondered if that was because of the thread count, or because the process to remove the silk sericin was not enough. This time, we tried to remove starch of the fabric.

BTB D3-5

We soaked the fabric in warm water (50 degrees Celsius) first, changed water, soaked in softener for a while, and then ironed it. It became softer, but also there were some color loss. Color loss when soaked in warm water means it needs better dyeing process before it is soften. Texture is very important for products like scarves, as they touch skin directly, and texture is one of very important factors like colors and patterns for textile products. I hope everybody understood that correct process in each step will lead to a good final product.

Thursday, December 27
Day 4 of training

Designing for making cotton Kroma (traditional Cambodian garment, used as scarf, bandana, etc)

In order to make 100% cotton Kroma, including the process of dyeing threads to the designing, the next exercise was for each participant to design check patterns. I also hoped for something interesting to be created during this process.
The conditions of the design was

  • Do not make their own taste
  • Think about customers (This time, Japanese people)
  • Use chic, serene colors or soft, pale colors.

Then, everybody started designing process using sample dyed fabric (dyed on the previous day), color chart, and Japanese magazines as reference. They will choose design of cotton threads that will be dyes on the next day.
Design process requires sense as well as basic knowledge. Just because they know steps of designing, it does not mean they can do it. So many factors are involved which makes it difficult. The beginning of designing was just as it is said “a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step”.

BTB D4-1
BTB D4-2
The teacher might be a little bit thickheaded than younger people... But she is trying very hard with young students.
BTB D4-3
Various designs with thick and thin stripes. It is important to draw pattern that gives picture of whole fabric.
BTB D4-4
Trace the tooth of the reed of the loom to the paper, in order to confirm the width of each stripe. Two threads are inserted between each gap of the reed, which helps to estimate amount of threads needed as well.
BTB D4-5
Check patterns for the trial dyeing. Golden yellow with grayish blue-green on pale gray background.
BTB D4-6
Dragon fruits for snack at break time.

*"Income Generating Activities (IGA)" actions in Cambodia and dispatch of specialists are supported by The Japan International Cooperation Foundation (JICF)

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