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Luntaya acheik: Then and Now

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The weaving of luntaya acheik  or the wavy rope pattern created through the use of hundred shuttles loom and silk thread, is mainly based on seven elementary designs and thirty-three ropes. In the Konbaung period (1752 to 1885), it was a royal fabric that only the kings, queens and high officials were allowed to wear. Now everyone can wear luntaya acheik. People wear this luntaya acheik for special ceremonies like novitiation, wedding, state level events, and convocation. It is a valuable fabric.

With the changes in the taste of people and fashion, the weavers create designs to suit the requirements of the customers. They also weave three other types of acheik - lunyakya acheikluntaya acheik, and lunyakyaw acheik. There are fewer weavers who focus on luntaya acheik because it is expensive and time consuming. Since silk thread, used in luntaya acheik, is very expensive, many weavers mix satin, nylon and silk threads. In addition, some foreign and local business owners have started imitating the designs of luntaya acheik using computer-generated graphics, which creates cheaper luntaya acheik (second photo). The tradition of weaving luntaya acheik is under threat unless special efforts are undertaken to support it.

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