Nothing automated about these old wooden looms, apparently still in good working order
The fabric being woven will eventually be made into a woman’s longyi, a tube of fabric that acts like a skirt worn by men and women. Men in Sri Lanka also wear them. A woman is supposed to step into hers and a man should put his on over his head. Weaving a length of fabric for a longyi – usually 2 metres long and about 80cm wide – can take a month or longer, especially if the design is particularly complicated. This explains why the silk ones are so expensive.
“Men who cannot read are like the blind; women who cannot weave are like the cripple”
—an old Burmese saying at a time when every household had a handloom and the women wove all the longyis for the family