I went to Kyoto to see the Lao Kimono project exhibition.
It was held by a Japanese governmental organization to promote Lao hand weaved silk textiles and other handicraft items exporting to Japan.
Laos is well known for its delicate and elaborate handicraft and it is one of Laos’ leading industries. However, it still doesn’t seem to be strong enough in terms of targeting overseas markets, especially Japan. The exhibition aimed to find out if there is any possibility of Lao handicraft to be accepted in Japan.
The companies that joined the project had been improving their products to satisfy the fastidious market demands. For example, when it comes to textiles for Kimono, they gave them more tension to make fabric stronger because Japanese people always sit on their knees and Kimono fabric is required to have some toughness.
It’s obvious that Lao people did very well. They are not only beautiful but also have something exotic that comes from both Lao and Japanese traditional background.
I seldom wear Kimono, it’s a shame though. If I can get such nice textiles with a low price, I may feel like putting it on quite often.
I think that the project will bring benefits both Lao suppliers who want to widen the market and Japanese Kimono industry people who are facing a serious problem of shrinking the market.