Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia catches the cross-stitch bug

Cambodia catches the cross-stitch bug

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Drink vendor Leng Sokkong shows off an embroidery she created in her spare time. Pha Lina

Cambodia catches the cross-stitch bug

While cross-stitching won’t make anyone rich, it is a hobby that has been taken up by Cambodian women for years. Some sell their creations, while others are content to give them as gifts or display them in their homes.

After coming home from work or finishing chores around the home, many women spend their downtime sewing tens of thousands of multicoloured lines of threads into a work of art.

Phen Lina spends her free time after work and tending to her two children stitching beautiful embroideries. So far, she has made three. One is displayed in her home, another in her mother’s and the third in her mother-in-law’s.

Nai Kim says she cross-stitches and sells her completed embroideries online via her shop Embroideries For Sell Retail and Wholesale. She also sells materials for cross stitchers. She said her customers, mostly women, are of all ages and backgrounds.

Leng Sokkong is a serious cross-stitcher. She spends seven to eight hours a day creating embroideries. She says she makes and sells about 20 pieces a year.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An employee at an art store prepares to display a cross-stitched embroidery. Pha Lina

“I work as an embroidery stitcher. The biggest piece I have worked on was about 200cmx100cm. I received only $80 for that piece and spent 50 days stitching it. For a smaller embroidery of 100cmx60cm, I generally get $50 and spend about a month on it,” she said.

As a drinks vendor with a lot of downtime at work, Sokkong begins stitching at dawn and continues until late at night. Her hands and fingers are kept busy as she manipulates the threads. On this particular day, she was creating an embroidery of two tigers with a message related to the Year of the Tiger.

She tells The Post: “I am not too busy right now. Business is slow so I spend most of my time stitching embroideries. One piece can sell for $50 and takes about one month.”

And she says it’s certainly not about the money: “I make no profit, but it’s better than doing nothing. Plus, I am addicted to cross-stitching!”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An embroidery maker puts the final touches on one of her creations. Pha Lina

MOST VIEWED

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • Second Hungary business forum set for H2

    Cambodia has asked Hungary to provide GSP- (Generalised System of Preferences) Plus facilities for when the Kingdom sheds its least-developed country (LDC) label, as the two countries prepare to hold a second business forum in the second half (H2) of this year to expand trade

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,