Myanmar | Pindaya

Aung Homemade Paper Umbrellas Pindaya

– Southeast Asia Tour 2015 –

> Pindaya | Myanmar <

03 Dec 2015 | Thu

Day 16 of 47

Today’s Events:

– 5 Days Market Kalaw

– Travel to Pindaya

– Pindaya Caves

> Homemade Paper Umbrellas Pindaya <

– Green Tea Restaurant Pindaya

– Travel to Inle Lake

– Nyaung Shwe Jetty | Travel Across Inle Lake to Hotel

– Aureum Palace Resort Inle Lake

– Aung Homemade Paper Umbrellas Pindaya –

The Pindaya region is famous for making handmade paper umbrellas by the local Danu people (an ethnic group that live in this area). After our visit at Pindaya Caves, we stopped off at Aung Umbrella Shop. The Aung family has been making handmade umbrellas for over 150 years. Now in the fourth generation, they have expanded into making paper lanterns, envelopes, notebooks, and other beautiful art.

Their shop in Pindaya is set up to show and demonstrate the step-by-step process of making paper umbrellas from mulberry bark.

How Mulberry Bark Paper is Made

Making handmade paper is very time-consuming, labor-intensive, and difficult to show the entire process but here are the basic steps for making mulberry bark paper.

The first step is stripping bark from the branches of the young paper mulberry tree.

Paper Mulberry Tree Bark

The bark is then cooked in a mixture of water, soda ash, and caustic soda (which bleaches and breaks down bark fibers). The best, pure white bark is separated and beaten with a wooden mallet until it becomes a smooth mixture (which can take several hours).

Mulberry Tree Bark Beaten with Wooden Mallet

The mulberry bark “pulp” is poured into a large flat vat with a bamboo screen frame (filled with a thin layer of coarse fabric or metal screen) mixed with water.

Mulberry Bark Pulp Added to Bamboo Paper Screen Frame

The bark pulp and water mixture are mixed by hand until the pulp adheres to the screen.

Bark Pulp and Water Being Mixed by Hand on Top of Bamboo Paper Screen Frame

Once the pulp has started to settle (and desired thickness is achieved), decorative flowers or leaves can be sprinkled evenly across the screen.

Decorative Flowers and Leaves Being Added

After this, the paper screen is removed and placed in the sun to dry/cure.

Paper Screen Frame Being Removed to Dry

When fully dry, the paper can be peeled away from the screen to result in a large sheet of mulberry paper

Dried Paper Being Removed from Frame
Finished Product – Sheet of Mulberry Bark Paper
Hand Making Wooden Umbrella Frames
Color Dyeing and Final Umbrella Assembly

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