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The lotus weavers of Inle lake

June 13, 2012

About 90 years ago a woman wanted to give a special present to an abbot in a nearby monastery of her village on Inle lake, Myanmar.  One day, when she plucked one of the long stemmed lotus flowers that grow in the lake, she noticed that it contains a silk-like filament. After many experiments she managed to spin these filaments into a thread and weave a robe.

This tradition of lotus weaving still exists today on Inle lake. It takes around 30000 stems to create 3 feet of fabric. The stems have to be processed within 3 days of harvest. They are cut into pieces a few inches long and the fibers are carefully extracted. Later it is spun into a thread and woven on old-fashioned wooden looms.  It is amazing to see the work that goes into creating this fabric. I compiled a short set of video clips to show you this process.

To see more images of Myanmar, head on over to my website at

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