Bamboo Hat Workshop on Ogre Island, Mawlamyine (Moulmein)
These typical burmese hats are handmade from bamboo husk in workshops like this one on Ogre Island, Mawlamyine (Moulmein). They are very light and are great protection from the sun and from the rain. The peak at the top of the hat on the left is made from a piece of plastic from an old bag of potato chips. Let’s see the process of making it in the following pictures.
The bamboo husk comes from very thick bamboo canes and is cut to form the pattern to the right of the lady. She is arranging the husks and securing them together with bamboo pins.
The next step is to join the bamboo husks together using thin bamboo strings.
A stack of hats waiting for the next step in production line with some weights on top to help maintain the shape.
Now that the main structure is done, this girl with thanaka make-up edges the rim with bamboo strings and sews it up with a strong thread.
Now using this amazing compass made of bamboo, the woman marks where she will cut out a hole for the top part of the hat to go, which is a similar structure but smaller. Now the hat will fit more comfortably on your head.
Hats are also used for decoration, as you can see in this house just next to the workshop.