Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sustainable spinners awarded



Sustainable spinners awarded

Lotus silk is made entirely from lotus stems. Photo supplied
Lotus silk is made entirely from lotus stems. Photo supplied

Sustainable spinners awarded

Awen Delaval and his 30-strong team at Samatoa were recently rewarded for their pioneering work in developing a silk-like fabric made entirely from lotus stems.

The London-based Institution of Engineering and Technology announced their 2016 Innovation Awards winners on November 16, with Samatoa picking up the prize for sustainability. The judges were impressed with its zero-waste target, a toxic chemical-free production process and job creation.

“It’s a great recognition for all the spinners, weavers and technicians of Samatoa who are working hard [for] many years to provide this unique fibre,” said Delaval.

Even though Samatoa only commercialised its lotus fibre in 2012, it has already been recognised by UNESCO and by the French government’s “France commits to the South” program, which seeks to reward social innovators from across the globe.

The lotus stems come from farms to the south of Siem Reap in Battambang. The smooth microfibre is created through a process of threading and spinning that transforms 40,000 individual stems into one metre of fabric.

Most of the fabric is sold outside of Cambodia, to concept stores and designers in Hong Kong, France, the US and Japan, though Samatoa also has a small design shop in Siem Reap. 

Samatoa will soon collaborate with Australian artist and costume designer Clementine Robertson. The resulting suits will be showcased in exhibitions and museums around the world to help raise awareness of and inspire others to use more ecologically sound vegetable fibres.  

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At