The Road to Mandalay

Jennifer modelling an intricate head-dress

This week we had a fascinating talk from Jennifer Hughes, who shared her knowledge and enthusiasm for the textiles of Burma. Jennifer brought a wonderful collection of textiles with her to illustrate her talk, some of which she modelled for us. Great hilarity was caused by her demonstration of how and why men and women tie the wrap-around ‘longhi’ in different ways (don’t ask!)

There were some wonderful little snippets of information. For example, every man in Burma has to be a monk for a period of time, so every family has a connection to the monastery, and religion is closely woven into the fabric of society. Another little snippet was where the term ‘white elephant’ comes from. Apparently pale-coloured elephants were prized, but a ruler could cause frustration and embarrassment by giving someone a white elephant. The elephant would take great time and expense to care for, but the recipient could never get rid of it as it was a gift from the ruler.

Examples of fine weaving
A belt with shells and coins. Wealth is worn rather than hidden away.
Embroidered elephant with sequins


Hello, this is my first attempt to add photographs to our Guild website.  . .  .so here goes.  Here are some pictures of my weavings.  As you can see, I love colour and work spontaneously on a very simple loom.  I spin and dye most of the yarns and then enjoy making them up into wearable art.  Once I have got my head around editing this site, I shall look forward (together with Jane Robinson) to receiving your photographs.  Alison