In pictures: The parasols of Pathein

PATHEIN, on the Ayerwaddy delta, is famed for its umbrella workshops where the colourful handmade parasols are made.

These are known as “Pathein Hti” and are available for sale in workshops such as Shwe Sar, which has been operating for generations.

I made a quick visit to the workshop to meet the current family and brothers Nising Lin and Tin Kyaw, who are continuing the family tradition of making parasols, although they said sadly most are now only purchased by tourists as locals want the silk designs only.

However at least the tourist trade is keeping business going for the family.

Anytime of day they seem happy to show people around. Usually there is someone out the back doing some kind of work on the parasols be it anything from the wooden frame to the stitching or waterproofing.

The workshop is at 653 Tawyakyaung Rd, which may also be written as PawYaKyang Road. Here are some images of the parasols from the workshop.

Pathein's beautiful parasol designs. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Waterproofing the parasols by applying a specially designed fruit sap. This is the final step in the process that also includes the frame, stitching and design. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Taking the parasols out to dry. Pic: Joanne Lane,

A row of drying parasols. Pic: Joanne Lane,

Parasols come in all shades of vibrant colours. It takes about a week to finish an entire parasol. Pic: Joanne Lane,

All images by Joanne Lane,