This is a really cool story at Asahi about Kikuo Morimoto, the man who revived the ancient Cambodian ikat method of silk weaving.
Soon after he started out in his native Kyoto to learn the art of yuzen–traditional silk dyeing for kimono–Morimoto turned his interest to Southeast Asian fabrics.
Eventually, he moved to Thailand where he worked within the local textile industry. The memory of his first glimpse of ikat has never left him. The fabric seemed to be alive, he says.
Ikat is created using silk threads that are individually dyed and woven in intricate patterns. It requires a precise technique that can only be done by hand.
But after the dark ages of Pol Pot–when Cambodians were forced to wear nothing but black–and the ensuing civil war, there remained only a hint of the ancient silk fabrics the Khmer people had spent centuries developing.
Determined to revive the art in a way that could also benefit the people of Cambodia, Morimoto moved to Phnom Penh and set up the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles.
I’d love to see some of this type of fabric :)