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■Dyeing and textile - manufacturing with a view to a better future (Part 3) (2013/02/13)

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.

Friday, December 28
Day 5 of training

BTB D5-1
  Dyeing of cotton threads.
  It gets pretty smoky with
fire wood.

Dyeing of cotton threads

Dyed cotton threads into three colors that were included in the check pattern designs on the previous day. There were some irregularity in dyeing result, but we decided to use them for weaving. (I thought it might create splashed pattern effect on woven fabric.)
Cotton Kroma is hand woven, and it is available locally at the price of only about 200 yen. I felt reluctant of making the same thing available in so many places. Differentiation of the product is important, which also applies to silk products.

Let's do tie-dye of "Tenugui"; Japanese Kroma
The last exercise was for each student to experience a new technique and make their own hand towel by dyeing cotton fabric, and learning to mix colors.
First, we cut bleached cotton to one meter lengths each, dyed them only with dyes of red, blue, and yellow (Students had to mix colors to get desirable color, such as purple with red and blue, green with blue and yellow), then tied the cotton with vinyl tape where it should not be dyed (the same principle as textile with splashed pattern) to challenge multi-colored tie-dye.
They came up with new patterns not found in the samples and original coloring. Also some students wanted to venture to try time-consuming works. Finally each "Tenugui" was dyed successfully.

Before I knew it, some students had moved to the sewing room. They ironed the dyed fabric, folded the edges in three, and started sewing hems with sewing machines. Some unraveled the edges to make tufts. They showed the motivation of making the products to their own, and willingness to go further than they were told. On this last day of the training, I sincerely hoped this experience would lead to the making of the better products.

BTB D5-2
They still have to understand the dyed fabric looks a few shades paler when they dry. The result was little paler than expected, but they understood the process of mixing colors.
BTB D5-3
Ms. Deth, who translated my poor language to more than I said, and 16 training participants. Thank you!

BTB D5-4
We took a picture with “Tenugui”, Japanese Kroma,
to commemorate this occasion.

After the training : Issues and view for the future
A five-day training was tough, but participants were always very positive and gave us answers like "It is all right!" and "We can do it!" with youthful energy.
I imagine how this training will be absorbed into their daily work... The most important thing is not to come up with the colors, not to know customer's preference, not to make soft fabric, but for each participant to be persistent, use their heads, and believe in themselves.

These young people, who are focused on today, will some day leave this place. Our final goal is to make them ready for that day. And adults surrounding them still need to help them. We have to define where the "goal" should be, and set the path for it. This is the role of the people who made the "start line" for them.

Making a living with manufacturing job is not easy now, even in Japan. But creating things gives something more than just money. I could not ask how they chose to weaving as a job, but at least, this is a job impossible to do if they hate it. It utilizes the traditional Cambodian threads and technique, and yet they can create something new and unique. And if it leads to the improvement of the income and living standards, that will be ideal and a joy.

The participants were just like Japanese young people; they are interested in fashion, loved sweets, and showed V sign for the camera. They might have different environments and backgrounds, but all try hard every day. Thank you, powerful young people! And also to all the people who made the path for us to come here, thank you.

This path will continue.

BTB D5-5
A silkworm hut was built just a couple of months ago. They started their own silk production attempt.
BTB D5-6
Remove the cocoons attached on the branch of the tree one by one and put in the tub. I heard there will be a training of the thread extraction in February. Go for your own silk production!
BTB D5-7
A showroom. A little bit old-fashioned?
BTB D5-8
BTB D5-9 BTB D5-10

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

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