The lotus flower is an ancient water plant that grows wild on Burman lakes, particularly on Lake Inle, in an environment of magnificent splendour. In Buddhism and Hinduism, the lotus flower symbolises purity and divine beauty, and the capacity of living a wholesome, virtuous life.
The plant itself is extraordinary. Rooted in the mud of the lake bed, every evening its flowers close and sink beneath the murky surface. The following morning as the sun begins to rise, the flowers re-emerge, perfectly clean and uncontaminated.
Lotus flower fibre derives from the stem of the plant, which can be picked between April and January. The fibre is extracted by hand directly on site, following age-old traditions, within 24 hours of collection. If any more delay, the quality of the material can no longer be guaranteed.
The thread is obtained by joining the filaments of three to five stalks, then rubbing them – roughly twisting the fibres on a hard surface – and finally spinning and weaving them by hand using ancient tools.
The whole procedure is carried out by women, who obtain 120 grams of yarn per day, and 50 metres of fabric per month, making the production extremely limited.
Lotus flower fabric is the result of an ancient and masterly art that could soon disappear if not appropriately supported. Through Loro Piana’s ongoing collaboration with the local population in Myanmar, the culture, resources and working techniques of the region are protected.
With an average diameter ranging from three to five micron, lotus flower is one of the finest textile fibres in the world, even more delicate than cotton and linen. Its qualities can be compared to a cellulose fibre, and it is similar in appearance to antique linen or raw silk, with a slight irregular texture.
The fabric is inherently breathable, crease resistant and exceptionally lightweight, making it suitable for spring and summer jackets. Due to its incredible fineness, more than 13.000 metres of thread, derived from 26.000 stems, are necessary for a single cut length for a blazer.
Loro Piana is the first Western company to create fabric using lotus flower fibre, bringing its unique qualities to an entirely new audience. Each year, The Lotus Flower® is crafted into a few superlative limited edition pieces for highly discerning customers.