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Yangon Post

Fabric Trivial Pursuit

Fabric Trivial Pursuit

It’s Pub Quiz Day at Kalinko. Fabric Trivial Pursuit. The Guess Who of Patterns...

 
There are 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar, each with their own fabrics and patterns. But a quick game’s a good game, so we’ll stick to seven. Read on to find out which group weaves with nettles, who makes loincloths for their loved ones, and all about Burmese tartan in this week's Specialist Subject.
Fabric Map
 

ONE  – KACHIN

Kachin Textile
Main Colours
Red, black and yellow
Easy-Spot
The “Mother-Pattern” which dictates the rest is often in a vertical strip down one side. Like an index, or a reference.
Interesting Fact
When a weaver has mastered the Mother-Pattern, she’s considered a competent weaver... #goals
 

TWO – AKHA

Akha Fabric
Main Colours
A blue-black base, with lots of colours on top.
Easy-Spot
Appliquéd rows of contrasting diamonds and triangles. Silver buttons, coins and beads.
Interesting Fact
They weave standing up so they can put full weight into the loom pedals. Most other weavers sit down to work.
 

THREE – SHAN

Shan Fabric
Main Colours
Bright chemical dyes, often with metallic threads.
Easy-Spot
The fancy stuff will include a mish-mash of different techniques, including ikat, embroidery, quilting and appliqué. The day-to-day wear fabrics are usually just striped, with alternating wide and narrow horizontal stripes.
Interesting Fact
You’ll find very similar textiles in neighbouring Thailand, Laos and Yunnan in China. The borders are very ethnically porous, so the textile influences spread easily.
 

FOUR – KAREN

Karen Fabric
Main Colours
Red and Green
Easy-Spot
Stripes and verticals – sometimes looks a bit like tartan.
Interesting Fact
Unmarried girls traditionally wear very plain, undyed fabrics. Married women wear something colourful and adorned.
 

FIVE – BAMAR

Bamar Fabric
Main Colours
Bright! Lots of pastels.
Easy-Spot
A wave-like cable pattern.
Interesting Fact
Royalty and high officials historically wove silver thread into their fabrics to distinguish themselves from the masses.
 

SIX – CHIN

Chin Fabric
Main Colour
Magenta
Easy-Spot
Geometric forms, often very tightly woven.
Interesting Fact
Chin loincloths are a traditional gift from wife to husband, and take nearly a year to weave.
 

SEVEN – NAGA

Naga Fabric
Main Colours
Black, green and red (the red traditionally representing the blood of the enemy…)
Easy-Spot
Simple, striking patterns usually comprising of stripes, squares and lozenges.
Interesting Fact
Traditionally, the Naga used to weave with nettle fibres. Ouch!
 
 
If you're hungry for more, the best place to see these babies in the flesh is at Brighton Museum’s James Green Centre for World Art, or the V&A’s South East Asian Collection.
 
And if you simply must have some for yourself, the best place to buy them is right here! Take me to the fabrics...
 
All images are taken from the fantastic Textiles from Burma by Elizabeth Dell and Sandra Dudley. Buy a copy here.
Sep 19, 2018

We sure do Carolyn! Here they are: https://kalinko.com/products/asho-pendant-lampshade-large We’ll email you the link now.

Kalinko
Sep 09, 2018

Do you have any large pendant lampshades
Thanks

Carolyn Maclay

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