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The lotus flower (Nelumbo Nucifera) is a very ancient water plant that grows wild on Burman lakes, particularly on Lake Inle, in an environment of rare beauty.
It has a number of extraordinary qualities: its roots lie in the mud of the lake bed and every evening the flowers close and sink beneath the surface of the murky water only to re-emerge perfectly clean and uncontaminated the following morning as the sun rises.
It is a sacred flower in Buddhism and Hinduism and over the centuries it has given origin to a complex philosophical and religious symbolism.
Above all, it is a symbol of purity and of the capacity to preserve a wholesome heart despite living every day in contact with an often corrupt world.
The lotus flower fibre derives from the stems of these flowers, which are picked between April and January.
Extracted manually from the stems, the filaments must be worked within 24 hours to prevent deterioration.
The thread is obtained by joining the filaments of three to five stalks, then "rubbing" them-roughly twisting the fibers on a surface - after which they are then finally spun and woven by hand with ancient tools.
This is done by the women who obtain just 120 grams of yarn per day and 50 meters of fabric per month. Production is very limited, and is the result of an ancient and masterly art that could soon disappear if not appropriately supported.