One day at Inle Lake: Lotus weaving of Inle Lake - Khit Sunn Yin - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, October 30, 2016

One day at Inle Lake: Lotus weaving of Inle Lake - Khit Sunn Yin

Inle Lake is often featured on lists of Myanmar (formerly Burma)'s top places to visit with its floating gardens, wooden villages on stilts, and local fishermen catching fish with cone shaped bamboo while they row with their legs. This charming lake was the end destination for our 3-day trekking tour from Kalaw, and we had the pleasure to spend a couple of days by the lake. We stayed the night at the beautiful Shwe Inn Tha Floating Resort, and on our second day the hotel arranged transport for us with a local boat taxi to go around the lake to see a bit of what it had to offer. The first stop of our trip was the Khit Sunn Yin Lotus, Silk and Cotton Hand Weaving Centre where we were going to see the unique lotus weaving of Inle Lake.
 Browse places to stay in Inle on

At the idyllic Khit Sunn Yin Lotus, Silk and Cotton Hand Weaving Centre
There are many different types of workshops that are situated around the lake area run by cooperatives of artisans, including silversmiths and workshops for traditional paper umbrellas. In our case we had been interested in seeing the traditional lotus weaving, as it apparently only can be found at Inle Lake. The lotus is considered a holly flower, and the tradition of the lotus weaving started around 150 years ago after a local woman succeeded in creating a robe of lotus to present to a reverend abbot.
We got a demonstration of the whole process, from how they extract the thin lotus thread from the stem of the lotus flower to how the thread us spun using a spindle. All of this is done by hand. The threads are later weaved together, sometimes with silk or cotton, to create the most beautiful products. As you can imagine this is an extremely time-consuming process, and just making a single scarf would take a couple of weeks of hard work for the weavers.

Even old bike-cycles are put to use here! 
 The finished fabric made from the lotus thread is used for various purposes such as making monk's robes, ladies' scarves, shirts, jackets and ties. Among the locals the lotus is said to absorb negative energies, bodily odours and to bring good luck.
At the weaving centre they sell various handmade lotus products, and they also have products where the material is combined with silk and cotton. The lotus thread is naturally beige coloured, but they have a wide selection of products dyed using natural dyes like flowers, leaves and fruits.
Silk scarf with lotus threads
Fortunately they accept credit cards, so even if you haven't brought enough cash (the scarves are not cheap. But then again, there's a lot of hard labour behind every single product) with you you'll have the chance to buy a souvenir at their store. And if not.. Well, seeing how they turn fibres from stem of the lotus plant into the most beautiful products is in itself worth a visit.

Basic Info
  • ・Name: Khit Sunn Yin Lotus, Silk and Cotton Hand Weaving Centre 
  • ・Location: Inpawkhon village in Inlay Lake, Taunggyi, Myanmar
  • ・Access:By boat only

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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