Weavers of traditional textiles in Myanmar unite to counter cheap copies imported from China and India
To counter the cheaper copy traditional products from China and India, selling at one fourth price , the weavers in Mandalay in Myanmar have formed an association, comprising of small and medium weaving units. The region is famous for high-quality silk and cotton fabric along with garments for the domestic and export markets.
Mandalay Weaving Businesses Association (MWBA) currently represents 670 small and medium weaving units in the region.
The main reason behind creating this association was to connect with the authorities and industry associations, such as the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers’ Association (MGMA) and save the interest of textile and garment industry.
As per the MWBA, Secretary, Ko Min Swe, the idea was to create organised strength in numbers, to make things easier for weavers, such as securing loans and other forms of assistance. Presently the weavers just make longyi and htamein -which are traditional sarongs worn respectively by men and women, however now MGMA had recently suggested that they should diversify and start manufacturing other garments like shirts etc.
In Mandalay Region- Amarapura and Wundwin are known for traditional textiles, including the shimmering, detailed lun yar kyaw silk cloth. According to the weavers, their business of traditional Myanmar designs is badly affected by cheap and low-quality silk copies of from China and India. For a weaver it takes up to 15 days to create new designs using handloom or traditional weaving machines. However, the same designs are available in the market a week later as garment factories in India and China are easily imitating the designs of Myanmar traditional silk by using digital weaving machines which gives quick and mass production.
The weaving industry in Myanmar needs modern machinery to compete against cheap imported copies, however the weavers feel that it’s their duty to preserve the traditional crafts and they need to find a way to expand their businesses.Features Industry Insight Myanmar