Laotian Perspectives, Standards, and Meaning of Plain Silk Cloth

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Khemphet Sysomphanh
Buapun Promphakping


This article aims to interpret the meaning of plain silk cloth from a Laotian perspective and propose national plain silk standards based on this meaning. The study utilized data collected from 25 key informants, who included ten weavers, five silk shop owners, and ten customers, and it applied interview guidelines and non-participative observation in collecting data. The content analysis method was employed for data analysis and consisted of three steps: bracketing, horizontalization, and clusters of meanings. The data analysis reveals five aspects of signified meanings of the silk plain cloth: 1) preference and taste, 2) alternative material use, 3) luxuriousness 4) utility, and 5) confort and care. The signified meanings and signifiers are proposed to be the outline of standards that could be further developed into complete details. The integration of silk production into markets will transform silk products into commodities, thereby jeopardizing the value and meaning ascribed to traditional silk products. However, standards would enable traditional meanings and values to be preserved while silk production grows and is transformed into modern silk production.


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How to Cite
Sysomphanh, K., & Promphakping, B. (2022). Laotian Perspectives, Standards, and Meaning of Plain Silk Cloth. Journal of Mekong Societies, 18(2), 145–164. Retrieved from