Cambodian Craft Cooperation

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The Cambodian Craft Cooperation (CCC) is an association of small business enterprises founded in 1997 with the assistance of the Handwerkskammer Koblenz (Chamber of trades and crafts, Germany) and financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ). The CCC aims at developing the economic potential of small and medium-sized craft enterprises. To reach this objective, the CCC has set up five associations representing different craft sectors. Weavers of several Cambodian villages in Takeo, a southern province with more than 10,000 weavers, joined the CCC in 1999 and set up their own Handmade Textile Association (HTA).

Weaving and wearing silk was and still is today an expression of deeply-rooted cultural and social traditions of Cambodia, with specific patterns worn by certain people or on special occasions. Takeo Province is well known for its concentration of skillful silk weavers, primarily women.

However, the rural producers have so far remained poor. Both their unawareness of the value of their products and lacking knowledge of and access to national and international markets left them with only a small fraction of the profit their products generate.

More information on the Cambodian Craft Cooperation:

Poverty reduction by linking poor communities to international markets

To complement CCCs efforts to build up technical capacities of the weavers, in 2003 the International Trade Centre (ITC), the technical cooperation agency of UNCTAD and WTO, chose the CCC as project partner to implement an Export-led Poverty Reduction Programme (EPRP) pilot project in Tanorn village. The project addressed the weavers' needs and constraints related to supply, production and sales through community building and enabling the weavers to deliver high quality products that meet market requirements.

After a market survey in Europe confirmed the very positive response to Cambodian silk products, ITC, in close collaboration with the CCC, helped the weaver community of Tanorn village, Takeo province, in:

  • Group training;
  • Centralisation of production and marketing processes;
  • Productivity and product quality adaptation to international markets;
  • Setting up of quality checks on different levels;
  • Training in creativity and design, modern production techniques and costing and pricing;
  • Building an attractive silk outlet aimed at buyers and tourists in the village that is managed by the weavers;
  • Integration of the HTA into Cambodian sector associations creating networks and synergies.

Furthermore, the EPRP built up capacities in the CCC to become a link between the silk weavers and export markets. The CCC has already started to replicate the pilot project of Tanorn village to three additional weaver communities in Sai Wa, Kborb and Prek Antak, and encourages everyone active in community development to share and use the Tanorn pilot experience.

More information on ITCs Export-led Poverty Reduction Programme:

ITCs Project Brief on EPRP Cambodia

Information on the project in Cambodia and other EPRP projects worldwide can be obtained at:

More on traditional Khmer silk weaving

There are special patterns and colors for ceremonies, festivals, at court and in daily life. Cambodian silk reflects a variety of traditional styles. Raw silk is a thick cream-colored fabric in its natural un-dyed state. Houl is a richly patterned fine fabric, made by the intricate ikat method where the pattern is plotted and dyed into the thread before weaving. There are over 100 named patterns of houl silk, traditional to specific locations and uses. New variations in color and design are being introduced by weavers all the time. The most common style, phamuong, is a rich, jewel-colored silk traditionally used to make suits. Cambodian weaving also produces a simpler sarong that is a piece of silk in various patterns casually wrapped around the waist and worn at home.


All products use environmentally friendly dyes which meet EU norms.

This information has been republished from