The search for yarn continues. Thyda contacted all the garment factories in Cambodia that produce knitted products. Of the 16 I found listed, only one was willing to talk to us about buying extra stock of yarn that they might have laying around. I had visions of cones of multiple colours, wool, cotton, bamboo, all of suitable thickness that would be waiting for us to rescue them from the factory waste bins. I imagined getting a great deal on yarn we could practice knitting our products on, getting a feel for different textures before making a decision on what kind of yarn to go with.
There was no such luck... what I did learn and what I perhaps should have/could have figured out beforehand, was that factories that produce knit products do so with the thinest possible yarn, on machines, and that they rarely work with anything above a fingering weight yarn. The manager was very helpful and after looking at the samples I brought along, he called a few other knitting factories and the answer was the same at each: we have no such thing.
So its back to ordering from either US sites like Peaches and Creme or KnitPicks and asking some soon to arrive American visitors to stash as much as their baggage allowance will allow. The idea of importing several kilograms from China is all but dashed since all the factories I got into contact with have minimum orders of several hundreds of kilos... per colour!