Our journey along Inle Lake began early in the morning, and by three o’clock we had arrived back at the upper portion of the lake where the majority of the tourists spent their time.
Our last major stop was a weaving shop, definitely set up for the tourist crowd but fascinating non-the-less.
Here they produced an unusual thread from the lotus stalk. Below one of the workers demonstrates the gooey threads produced when the lotus stalk is pulled apart.
The fine threads were rolled into a coarse thread.
Here a weaver is producing a length of fabric made totally from unbleached lotus thread. Although the cloth looks like burlap in the photo, in reality it looked elegant and expensive.
This woman was weaving together white raw silk thread with unbleached lotus thread. The lotus thread was worth seven times as much as silk thread. I had wanted to buy some scarves made of this for my friends but backed off when I saw they cost about $200 each.
Here is another silk and lotus weave, with a finer silk thread and much less lotus. They didn’t allow any photos to be taken of the finished products in the shop so this is the best I could do.
I was amazed at just how complicated these hand-worked looms were to set up.
This woman is weaving a plain white silk cloth.The lotus thread can be dyed.
This cloth is made primarily from lotus thread dyed indigo and pink, with some silk added for stability.
This is pure pink silk, and looks very different than the pink lotus cloth.
I have tried to show how magical this trip was on my art blog, Elizabatz Gallery: A Magical Tour of Inle Lake.