7 The women learning how to making cotton threat, Doo doh Ta, Mutraw districtA traditional cotton growing, harvesting, processing and weaving project was conducted in Thaw Kee Der and Blaw Kaw Kee villages, Ler Mu Plaw village Tract, Lu Thaw Township, Mu Traw District. The objective of this project was to empower the young women in the community to learn the traditional methods of growing, harvesting, processing, and weaving cotton to make traditional clothing and to use this knowledge to produce clothing and generate income for themselves and their families.

A cotton garden was established and weaving equipment was built in 2010. In 2011, the community continued to look after the garden, harvest the cotton, produce thread, colour/dye the thread and weave traditional clothing. A total of 20 women and 5 men participated in the project and produced 20 Karen bags and 17 women’s shirts. Income generated from the sale of these items was 6,650 Thai baht.

The women participating in these projects reported that they felt pleased to learn/improve their skills and to be able to generate income from their activities to help supply the needs of their families. As well, many reported that they liked the ability to connect and interact with other women in their communities/villages to learn from and support one another.