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Lotus Fabric

Buy lotus fabric made in Battambang, Cambodia and visit the lotus manufacture. A new fabric, a unique fabric, organic fabric.

The lotus is an aquatic perennial which spreads on thousand hectares in Cambodia.

Thoses pink and white flowers are sacred in part of Asia

.natural fiber

Samatoa has experienced a unique handmade process in order to extract the fibers of the stems and to weave it.Samatoa is proud to offer now a new

Exclusive Organical fabric.

The lotus fabric looks like a blend of linen and silk.

The characteristics of the lotus fabric are unique:

special breathable and wrinkle-free.

Samatoa has trained and educated underprivileged womens leaving around the spectacular lotus lake of Kamping Poy near Battambang in Cambodia.

 

Lotus Fiber Weaving at Kamping Poy Battambang- Cambodia

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Lotus-fiber weaving takes place in Cambodia on the spectacular giant lotus lake of Kamping Poy near Battambang in Cambodia. Here, they farm the lotus all during the years from generation to generation in order to extract and sell the seeds of buy khmer silk.

According to informants, this activity began around 1910 when a Daw Sa Oo (Madame Sparrow’s Egg) in the interest of gaining merit set out to produce a set of robes for the highly revered abbot of a nearby monastery, from the fibers of the local padonma-kya lotus plant, which grew wild in the shallows of the lake. With the help of her friends she experimented with various filament extraction and preparation processes, eventually weaving a set of robes to her liking.11 The delighted abbot had the weaver’s name changed to Daw Kya Oo (Madame Lotus Egg) in honor of her pious achievement. Daw Kya Oo and her friends throughout their lives continued to weave with lotus yarn for meritorious rather than commercial purposes, producing one or two sets of robes a year for eminent local abbots. None of Daw Kya Oo’s progeny are currently involved in weaving, but the descendants of her friends have continued the tradition.

Fibers and Looms

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The lotus leaf stems are gathered by younger women in the morning. After removing the nubbly prickets with a coconut husk, the stems are then placed beside the young woman seated at a low table. A shallow knife cut is made around a bunch of 5-6 stems which are quickly snapped off and twisted to reveal some 20- to 30 fine white filaments that are drawn and rolled into a single thread which is coiled onto a plate seen on the left. It takes approximately 25 women making thread to keep one weaver busy.

 

Weaving the Yarn

lotus weaving

The yarns are prepared for weaving by placing the skeins on a bamboo spinning frame and transferring the thread onto winders in readiness for the warping process. Taking care to avoid tangling, the 40 meters long threads are then lifted from warping posts and coiled into huge plastic bags, while yarn for the weft is wound onto small bamboo bobbins.

Lotus-fiber fabric is woven on a traditional Cambodian frame loom. Weaving components include a cloth beam, a large warp spacer-beater, and a pair of heddles supported by a transverse bar resting above the frame. The heddles are connected by rope to a pair of wooden, disc-shaped foot treadles.

There is no warp beam on a Cambodian loom. The excess warp is stored behind the weaver and released as weaving progresses. This limits the width of cloth woven to around 24 inches (60-75 cm). The use of a temple keeps the selvages straight while water is on hand to moisten the threads during the course of weaving. Given the aquatic origin of the fabric, weavers feel that lotus fibers need to “remain cool.” The fabric is woven in 100 yard (90-meter) batches, which take about a month and a half to complete. The weavers have estimated that fibers from around 120,000 lotus stems are needed to weave the fabric for a costume. The fabric is then dyed either with chemical or natural dyes to a reddish- brown shade before being cut into patches of different sizes and machine sewn together in rows to resemble the mosaic-like appearance of community owned rice fields prevalent at the time of the Buddha.

 

The Symbolism of the Lotus

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Anchored in the sludge of the primordial waters of the universe, and rising unsullied above the surface in perfect splendor, the lotus in Buddhism has come to symbolize the potential in all sentient beings to grow beyond the base mundane desires of earthly existence to become truly enlightened beings, as personified by the Buddha within this bronze lotus

Lotus Weaving Myths

Although now firmly ensconced within the Theravada fold, Cambodia, through early trading and missionary contacts has been exposed to a variety of religious philosophies from India. This is significant because the lotus also figures prominently in Hindu art, mythology, and literature, and in a number of instances a connection has been made between weaving and the lotus.

Of particular note is the account of how the Hindu deity Visnu as the supreme god Narayana gave birth to the universe. While reclining on a serpent in a mysterious slumber, a lotus stem sprung from his navel bearing the gods of the Hindu triad—Brahma, Visnu, and Siva. This popular Hindu creation myth, has been taken by the Devanga weaving caste of Mysore, to herald the origin of weaving on the subcontinent. This is because Manu, the mythical progenitor of the human race, fetched the thread for weaving from the heart of the lotus stems that grew out of the navel of Vishnu.

Stone reliefs depicting this creation myth uncovered on many telples at Angkor in Cambodia attest to the fact that early inhabitants there were familiar with such popular Hindu mythology. There is also a reference to the weaving of lotus robes for a future Buddha in a neighboring central Thai version of the Hindu Ramayana epic, where the hero Rama slays a powerful giant whose daughter was betrothed to Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. While she awaited his coming, she kept herself busy by weaving him robe made from the filaments of lotus stalks. It has been noted that some legendary beauties of Burmese literature owed their physical charms to the fact that they had woven lotus thread in previous existences.

Wither the Lotus?

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With the opening up of Cambodia to tourism, Battambang and the Kamping Poy Lake become a popular destination for foreign travelers. Visits from Japanese tourists with an affinity for natural bast fibers eventually led to contact with some haute couture designers in Japan or US who expressed an interest in obtaining amounts of lotus fiber fabric to make blazers and skirts for exclusive clothing boutiques in Tokyo.

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