Our GalleryHomeEvents & NewsletterOur NewslettersThe ArtistsMAGAbout UsContact Us
Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos Textiles

Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos

Textiles, Tradition, and Well-Being

By Joshua Hirschstein and Maren Beck
Photography by Joe Coca

Available October 1, 2017

What began as a couple's backpacking adventure with their young sons in Southeast Asia transformed into a thriving fair trade business and a renewed sense of wellbeing. Part travelogue, part silk-weaving primer, this is a tender portrait of an American family's travels in Laos's remote Houaphan Province. As they learn about the ancient silk weaving traditions in the hill tribe community of Xam Tai, so too they gain an appreciation for the strong sense of well-being in Lao culture.

Over the past decade, Joshua and Maren have developed deep connections with the villagers of Xam Tai who raise their own fiber from silkworms, create their own natural dyes, and weave the patterns of their ancestors into healing cloths, ceremonial textiles, and daily wear. The authors provide an in-depth and rare view into the everyday lives, culture, and craft of Lao silk weavers. Joe Coca's gorgeous photos enrich the text.

Joshua and Maren are the owners of Above the Fray: Traditional Hilltribe Art, and make their home in Eugene, Oregon.

Praise for

Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos

Textiles, Tradition, and Well-Being

Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos is a fresh and personal account of the authors' journey to the heart of Lao weaving. I especially enjoyed their mix of personal family stories and work with the weavers and appreciated their descriptions of village life, the weavers, and their love for their craft/art. Xam Tai is a magical place where rich Lao weaving traditions come alive, born from the imagination of highly skilled weavers and handcrafted with centuries of inherited knowledge. As the world rapidly changes, this book captures a vital moment in time of the independent traditional silk weavers and weaving culture of Laos and Xam Tai.
- Carol Cassidy, author of Beyond Tradition: Lao Textiles Revisited and founder of Lao Textiles

This personal memoir combined with closely observed primary interactions with the weavers and their lives is a very unusual approach to a traditional textile book. I enjoyed getting to know personal histories of the weavers and how they operated. Technical details of spinning, dyeing, and weaving are masterfully recounted, and the photography, especially of the silks, is superb.
- Gillian Green, author of award-winning Traditional Textiles of Cambodia

I have only one problem with this fascinating book—it had to end! I felt so well acquainted with the weavers and the authors and the techniques that it seemed like the story should go on forever. Loving, honest, illuminating documentation, augmented by Joe Coca's superb photography.
- Janet De Boer, editor of Textile Fibre Forum Magazine

Order Your Autographed Edition!

$34.95 + $3/shipping
Available Oct 1, 2017


Published by Thrums Books

224 pages; 235 color photos

Site Design: DIGI Studios