When we walked into the weaving workshop I thought there might be nothing else I could eventually be surprised by. I was totally wrong because I had never heard that lotus could be woven and after having seen the long and meticulous process involved I was absolutely mesmerised.
Said to have been conceived nearly a century ago using the fibers of the lotus stems the process is known to be extremely labour intensive making lotus one of the most expensive textiles in the world (a neck scarf requiring about 40,000 stems costs around 200 Euros).
Once the stem is picked its fibers are extracte and put on a small wooden table. A handful of about five "spongey" fibers are then twisted and hand-rolled together with water. Raw lotus threads are a netral creamy colour but they can be tinged.
Said to be cool in the Summer and warm in Winter the lotus fabric texture is similar to raw silk or line apart from being lightweight and waterproof.
We walked around the various weaving areas almost in a venerating attitude not only because of the meaning of lotus in the Buddhist religion but also the "fairy" like weavers whose hands produce magical beauty ...
(To be continued)