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Comparing Leiden and Amarapura (Myanmar): Handloom weaving

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There are many old buildings and records in Leiden. Weaving was the main economy in the 17th century and the city was known for its quality. But now there are only about 15 weavers. They weave using eight looms. Weavers, though few in numbers, keep the practice alive through different ways – efforts of the volunteers, group meeting, preservation of buildings like Weaver’s House, Museum De Lakenhal, publication in weaving magazines etc.

In contrast in Amarapura, while the weaving craft is very old and still continues, it is not preserved  or showcased in big museums (with the exception of The Saunders Art, Gallery and Museum). There are many weavers in Amarapura, especially in the rural areas, where the weavers learn the craft without going to vocational schools. They learn it by growing up in the weaving environment. Most can mainly weave the sarong "longyi and pasoe". They can weave over one hundred shuttle looms. The fabric is produced by using many threads (silk, satin, nylon, cotton).

The loom in photo 1 is from Museum de Lakenhal in Leiden; and the one in photo 2 is from Myanmar. Both look similar.

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