Silk And Cotton Weaving In Burma

Burmese craftsmanship in weaving cotton and silk has a long tradition, and the country has long been known for the elegance and complexity of weaving silk. However, there is something that distinguishes a special group of Burmese weavers from the rest of the world’s weavers. Do you want to know what it is? Follow me into the world of Burmese silk and cotton, and I’ll tell you everything.

Silk is one of the oldest textile fibers and was used according to Chinese tradition as far back as the 27th century BC. The silkworm, which belongs to the scaly-winged detachment, and the home silkworm, which constitutes the Bombycidea family, was originally from China, and for more than 30 centuries its collection, spinning and weaving were a secret process. known only to the Chinese. China managed to keep this secret until 300 AD, when Japan and then India invaded secrecy.

The art of spinning and weaving from silk was invented and developed in China and only later spread to neighboring countries such as Burma and other parts of the world. Tradition attributes the 14-year-old bride of Emperor Huangdi, Si-Lin-Shi, the discovery of the potential of the cocoon of the silkworm caterpillar and the development of a revolutionary technique of folding silk silk silkworm for use in weaving.

“Silk” fiber is valuable for use in thin fabrics and textiles and is made by silkworm in the form of a cocoon, which is not really a worm, but a caterpillar, for its transformation into a worm. The mulberry silkworm is not the only insect producing fibers, but only the cocoons of the Silk Moth Bombyx mori and several related species are used for weaving silk, as the silk worm / bluel gives silk of the highest quality.

Silkworms have several specially modified salivary glands (serises) that they use to produce their cocoons. The silk glands secrete a clear viscous liquid that is pushed through the holes (fillers) on the mouth of the larvae and quickly hardens into very thin fibers when in contact with the air. The length of the individual fibers that make up the cocoon ranges from 305 to 915 meters, making silk fiber the thinnest and longest natural fiber. Silk is also the most durable of all natural fibers. Approximately 5,500 cocoons are needed to produce 2.2 pounds / 1 kg of raw silk.

In order for silk to become suitable for weaving, it is necessary to kill the silkworm in the cocoon. Traditionally, this is done by cooking cocoons. The lack of Burmese silk is often explained – the silk used for weaving in Burma is mainly imported from China and Thailand – is that Burmese refrain from killing mulberry silkworms because they call what they call ‘real’ Buddhists.

Weaving is a method of fabric fabrication by weaving two layers of threads, “basics” and “duck.” While the ‘foundation threads’ form the basis of weaving – they are stacked parallel to each other and stretched by a loom, the ‘duck’ is a single thread that is inserted and directed at right angles through and under the threads of the base. systematic way of making a solid or patterned piece of cloth. Initially, weaving was done on a hand loom, and tribal weavers continue to make their colorful fabrics – both cotton and silk – in this traditional way, but most commercial manufacturers weave their fabrics using semi-automatic or fully automated processes.

As mentioned earlier, weaving has a long tradition and is a strong industry in Burma. It is lively throughout the country, from mountainous border areas in the north and east, from coastal areas in the south and west to arid central plains and areas between trademarks. Weaving is an art that many village girls learn from their mothers and other women in their families.

Many differences in colors, patterns, styles, techniques and additional functions, such as embroidery drawings, not only serve as decorations, but also point to the places and regions of the origin of textiles. They add an element of connection and racial or tribal identity to those who produce and wear them. For others, it’s just a fashionable option.

Some of the most distinctive and easily recognizable fabrics known as “a-sheikh” are weaved in Amarapur (Mandalay region). Other very distinctive fabrics, known as “Inle Lunghi” or “zim Mei”, originate from the Lake Inlay area.

Weaving is Amarapura’s main source of income. Formerly known as the “City of Immortality”, the capital of the Burmese kingdom and the residence of the “Conbaung Dynasty” from 1783 to 1859/60 AD, Amarapura is located about 11 km south of Mandalay. Here, where every second house will have at least one loom, among other things, the most festive and beautiful dress in Burma, ceremonial ‘longi’, ‘A-sheikh’ htamine (for women) and ‘A -Cheick’ paste (male), woven from silk. “A-Cheicks” are fabrics easily recognizable by the intricate patterns of weaving that make up their very attractive and intricate design. Weavers made of silk and cotton Amarapura are known throughout Burma. Their high-quality colorful fabrics/clothing of various designs and color solutions, both traditional and modern, are in high demand and available throughout the country.

Lake Inlay is another center of the Burmese weaving industry. The fabrics that are also produced here are often silky. The technique used by inlay weavers is an ancient technique called ikat. Usually the threads are painted before the weaving process, firmly tying them and immersing separately in a dye bath for each color. However, the insertion is made a little differently. While the usual way of staining is to paint the threads separately, that is, each of them has its own color, the way of coloring the threads ‘Inthah’ is to paint the threads in color. The advantage of this technique is that there is no need to re-stroke the threads of each individual color.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *