Parasol industry in Pathein was established over a hundred years ago. The first umbrellas were made of pure paper and now they developed through the experience of producers they have become innovative and began to produce umbrellas with cotton curtains, silk and satin with floral designs attractive. These newly formed umbrella became popular with women and expanded sales across the country. It ‘also attracted foreigners visiting to buy Pathein parasol as souvenirs or for decoration of interior walls and screens for use as a single lamp.
Production of Pathein umbrella is more or less an industry family. and there is no division of labor in the realization of a single umbrella. Each employee is assigned a different task. with a charge of a part of the ribs and another tree. with more to the cap. at the bottom. the hub have nerves together. and also the wedge or the switch to open and close the umbrella. Each person works separately and is a specialist as it were in his line of work.
The tree and umbrella ribs are made of bamboo and bucket and taken conifers known locally as “Ma-U Thit”. Bamboo and wood raw materials are obtained from the slopes of the mountain range of Rakhine Yoma near Chaung-tha. which is near Pathein.
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When all the different parts made by different craftsmen are ready. coming together to make an umbrella. Then the canopy. dyed in pastel shades of lilac. Pink. green and blue to deflect sunlight. They are attached to the structure. but a couple of darker shades too. such as black. bottle blue and dark green. When the lid is fixed to the structure of the rib. small flowers of various shapes and colors are painted in the background color.
The wonder of it is that many different parts made by different hands all fit perfectly together. that is able to open and close the umbrella smoothly without any problem. Once the umbrella is folded then a small bamboo ring wrapped in woolen thread colored and fixed with the same thread for a slot in the handle. You can scroll through the folding umbrella to keep tightly closed.
Bright and colorful Pathein umbrella seems to grace and charm added to Myanmar feminine beauty. Pathein umbrellas in all sizes and colors are available in any mall or market throughout Myanmar. and not much space when folded neatly. It would be ideal for foreigners to buy this precious object as a gift for someone special.