Golden silk indigenous to Cambodia
Khmer Golden Silk is called “golden” because of it’s natural yellow color as it is unravelled from the native Cambodian silk cocoon. The formal name of the variety of the silk worm which produces yellow silk thread is a
multivoltine cocoon. The most famous area for golden silk is Phnom Srok, on the hills above the Great Lake or Tonle Sap in NW Cambodia. The golden silk thread is a single, roundish filament, with excellent light reflecting surface that produces the fine luster of the Khmer silk textiles.
Golden silk supports rural families
There are over 500 families producing Khmer golden silk yarn in the region of Phnom Srok . The production of silk is also a mutli-crop argiculture product. Mulberry trees are planted on .5 hectres
to 2.5 hectres
family agriculture land, in addition to vegetable and fruit trees,
and rice, thus providing a rural family with the means for income.
Raising silk worms or “neang” in Khmer language takes special knowledge and
care, and is predominately done by women. (In Khmer, “neang” is also an
endearing term for “young woman”.) The knowledge of raising worms, and
harvesting the silk thread, and processing the thread into correct quality
weaving, is passed down
generations. Due to the neglect of mulberry plantations during nearly 30 years of war and political strife, Cambodia’s golden silk yarn production decline from 1960’s of 150 tons/year to about 6 tons/year today.
Thus, not only is this special quality silk highly beautiful but also rare. All the silk textiles woven in Cambodia prior to the war was woven from Khmer golden silk. Now, 100% Khmer golden silk textile can be purchased by special order.
The quality of all silk textiles woven in Cambodia is still high due to the weaving and designs. Like most other silk textile weaving countries like India, Thailand, and Italy, Cambodia uses the best monovoltine silk threads as well, imported from China.
However, the tradition of Khmer golden silk from ancient Angkor civilization still continues today in modern Khmer rural life