Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Myanmar discovery circuit - Day 4 (morning) - Mandalay, Amarapura - a longyi silk weaving production workshop - The 15th of November 2015

We got up fairly early because we had asked Chocho to consider including a few more visits we were interested in that had not been scheduled, but  which taking into account the fact that we were a small group, might be possible.

As I stood outside the hotel main entrance I observed a flower vendor getting ready to carry some of the bunches she had been assembling on her bike.

The first morning visit was to a silk workshop, as some of us were interested in buying longyis (modern versions of the former traditional htamain - pieces of cloth approximately 2 metres long  and 80 cm wide often sewn into a cylindrical shape  to be worn around the waist  and running to the feet) before leaving Mandalay the following day. According to Chocho the patterns differ from area to area and no one was in a better position to have us thrilled about buying them, as she picked us up wearing a different patterned longyi every morning.

The fact that I have watched weaving in various countries (Sri Lanka, Northern and Southern India, China, Iran and Uzbekistan, to name just a few) doesn't change the degree of admiration I have for the women and men who work on the handloom weaving all day long bringing out the magic of such an art, whether it's just silk, cotton mixed with silk, georgette, satin or crepe.  


We were all bewitched (at least the ones who wanted to buy longyis - Valerie, Noelle and I) by the softness of the tissues, some of which were merely silk made, whilst others were mixed with cotton and several other materials, the mixing of colours, the patterns ... and the whole trying on atmosphere, which had us mesmerised and hesitant as to which to buy.

I ended up buying two longyis (one in pure silk and the one with vibrant colours in cotton and silk). I also bought an indigo blue top to go with one of them, having found none to match the silk longyi.


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