Silk weaving factory gets my bucks.

Keri Pickett in silk scarf and clothing from Myanmar

Keri Pickett wearing clothing from the silk weaving factory.

The silk route was created to bring silks from the east to the west. Silk is special. The sheen and color and feel of the fabric makes me happy. I love textiles awakens my senses and I get out my cash. Scarves are an essential item in my hand-bag or luggage as I tend to run cold and in need of a wrap to stay warm. Also, once a New Yorker – always a New Yorker – I love to wear black, so I need a scarves for color therapy!

Wilk weaving buildings on stilts over Inle Lake, Myanmar

Walkway to silk weaving buildings on stilts over Inle Lake, Myanmar

In my ‘loom beading & macrame period’ of the 70s I built my own small loom and then using string and second-hand yarns, I created some small woven bags which are still floating around in a closet somewhere. I liked our boatman who had been in the business for 30 years and seemed smart. While on the way to the farmer’s market Mr. Win, our boatman said not to buy textiles as the market as he would bring me to the place with the top quality weaving. Our boatman said that the whole village is employed by this one silk weaving house. Perhaps boatmen get some kind of commission other than tea and time in the shade as many guides brought boatloads of tourists there.

The tour of the factory starts with the lotus root production demonstrated the process with pulling the fibers on the lotus root to spin the yarn to use in weaving – it was quite the delicate procedure.

Inle Lake, view from silk weaving factory.

Inle Lake, view from silk weaving factory.

The factory had a lot of looms and a beautiful showroom. They had a number of different styles of readymade clothes and then they had silk by the piece. The prices were western prices and this is one place where I spent my hard earned money. This is the kind of work that I love to support as the quality and art of the weaving was top quality and the people I met who were weaving seemed to be happy.

This is women’s work and it seems sustainable and local. All good things. I have no idea of the real worker story as the person taking the money was obviously the big boss man and he didn’t look like he was from the same village so to speak.

But I happily pulled out my wallet here. The silks I bought here at the silk weaving factory are an investment in beauty. So this is where I say – share the love! In addition textiles are a great gift, as fabric travels well and works as packing wrap around more delicate objects.

Weaving with Lotus

Weaving with Lotus

Silk weaver

Silk weaver

Silk weaving

Silk weaving

Silk weaving

Silk weaving

Silk!

Silk!

Silk weaving

Silk weaving

Lotus root weaving

Lotus root weaving

Lotus root spindals

Lotus root

Silk

Silk

Silk weaving

Silk weaving

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Keri Pickett in skirt and top made from silk purchased on Inle Lake at the silk weaving factory.

Keri Pickett, Key West, FL wearing traditional Myanmar skirt and top made from silk purchased on Inle Lake at the silk weaving factory.

 

 

 

Keri Pickett

Keri Pickett is an author, photographer and filmmaker telling the stories of life, family and community with intimacy, honesty and impact. Pickett is Producer, Director and Camera for the award-winning feature documentary film ‘The Fabulous Ice Age’, about the rise and fall of the great American touring ice shows and one man’s quest to save the history, available on Netflix and Amazon. Her short film, 'Steel // Spirit' premiered at MSPIFF and won certificate of excellence in India. Her award-winning books include Love in the 90s; BB and Jo, The Story of a Lifelong Love, A Granddaughter’s Portrait (Warner Books, 1995); Faeries; Visions, Voices & Pretty Dresses (Aperture, 2000); Saving Body & Soul, The Mission of Mary Jo Copeland (WaterBrook, 2004). The recipient of a Jerome and Minnesota State Arts Board grants, three McKnight Foundation Photography fellowships, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and a Bush Foundation Fellow, Pickett’s work is in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.