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 Why Lotus Silk Is So Expensive
작성자
 이** (jean)
글내용

 

Description: 

Lotus silk is one of the rarest fabrics in the world. Produced only in small scale 

across Cambodia, Myanmar, and more recently Vietnam, this natural fibre is only 

extracted by a few skilled craftspeople across the world. But making this

"silk" isn’t easy. Extracting enough lotus silk for one scarf can take two months,

and the final product can cost 10 times as much as regular silk. So just how is

it made, and what makes it so expensive?

 

Transcription: 

Lotus silk is one of the rarest fabrics in the world, produced only in small scale 

across Cambodia, Myanmar, and, more recently, Vietnam. This natural fiber is 

only extracted by a few skilled craftspeople across the world. But making this 

silk isn't easy. Extracting enough lotus silk for one scarf can take two months,

and the final product can cost 10 times as much as regular silk. So just how

is it made, and what makes it so expensive? Phan Thi Thuan's family have

been making silk for generations, growing and harvesting the threads from 

silkworms themselves to create luxury garments. But making lotus silk is 

different. Silk usually comes from silkworms. They're kept on wide trays 

and need to be fed almost 24 hours a day with mulberry leaves. 

The caterpillars delicately spin threads to create their cocoons, and it can

take hundreds of silkworms to make a kilo of silk. But while the insects 

require careful looking after, they do most of the hard work themselves.

The key difference between the bright yellow silk and the paler lotus 

version is that every single strand of lotus silk must be extracted by hand.

Narrator: Each thread of lotus silk starts with the stem of the lotus flower.

The lotus is Vietnam's national flower and a plant that's grown across the

country. While this fabric has been made for years in Myanmar, Phan Thi 

Thuan only started experimenting with this fiber in 2017.

Narrator: Once the stem is selected and picked by hand, the silk inside can

be extracted. Each stem contains a minuscule amount of thin, sticky fibers,

which must be rolled together and dried. The threads need to be processed 

within 24 hours while they're still wet; otherwise, they'll break.

And so harvesting has to be done each day. And the lotus plants are only 

available to harvest between April and October. Once you've gone through

the hard work of extracting these fibers, they're incredibly delicate, too. 

Narrator: Once dry, these threads are carefully weighed down and delicately 

hand-spooled. Then they're put into the loom. These fibers are fragile, 

but once woven, can be as durable as traditional silk. Phan has a team 

of 20 workers creating these fibers each day, allowing them to produce 

10 to 20 scarves each month. But when a 25-centimeter scarf can sell 

for just over $200, the hard work is worth it. The final product is unlike any

other fiber. It's soft like silk, breathable like linen,and slightly elastic. 

These luxurious traits have made it popular with tourists searching for rare

souvenirs. It's also recently been picked up by international fashion brands

searching for new luxury fiber. But its scale has been limited, as there are 

still few trained in the making of these silk threads. But despite the work 

involved, Phan Thi Thuan is hoping that this skill could one day grow to 

become a larger industry. 

 

Questions: 

1. What is the one of the rarest fabrics in the world? 

2. Why are they so expensive? How much a scarf would cost? 

3. Detail how are the lotus fabrics are made?

작성일자
2020-12-30 오후 1:25:40
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