Members of Myanmar's State Peace and Development Council dressed in acheik longyi

Acheik (အချိတ်; [ʔət͡ɕʰeɪʔ]) or luntaya acheik (လွန်းတစ်ရာအချိတ်; lit.'hundred shuttle acheik'), is the name of the indigenous Burmese textile pattern. It features intricate waves interwoven with bands of horizontal stripes, embellished with arabesque designs. Luntaya (လွန်းတစ်ရာ; [lʊ́ɴtəjà]), which literally means a "hundred shuttles," refers to the time-consuming, expensive, and complex process of weaving this pattern, which requires using 50 to 200 individual shuttles, each wound with a different color of silk.[1][2] The weaving is labor-intensive, requiring at least two weavers to manipulate the shuttles to achieve the interwoven wave-like patterns.[3]

Assortment of female acheik htamein (sarongs).

Acheik is most commonly used as a textile for male paso or female htamein. The color palettes used in acheik incorporate a bold array of contrasting shades in a similar color range to create a shimmering trompe-l'œil effect.[3] Designs for men feature simpler zig-zag, cable and interlocking lappet motifs, while those for women interweave undulating waves with arabesque embellishments such as floral motifs or creepers.[3]


The towns of Amarapura and Wundwin remain major domestic centers of traditional acheik weaving, although in recent years, cheaper factory-produced imitations from China and India have significantly disrupted Myanmar's traditional cottage industry.[4]


Acheik weaving originates in Amarapura, near the Pahtodawgyi pagoda.[5] The name acheik may derive from the name of the quarter in which the weavers lived, Letcheik Row (လက်ချိတ်တန်း); the term itself was previously called waik (ဝိုက်), referring to the woven zig-zag pattern.[5]

While some sources claim that the acheik pattern was introduced by Manipuri weavers during the late 1700s, there are no comparable Manipuri textiles that resemble acheik.[3] The wave-like patterns may have in fact been inspired by Neolithic motifs and natural phenomena (i.e., waves, clouds, indigenous flora and fauna).[5] Acheik-type designs are found on pottery dating back to the Pyu city states (400s-900s CE), as well as in temple wall paintings dating back to the Bagan Kingdom era (1000s-1200s CE).[3] Tributary gifts bestowed to the Burmese royal court may also have provided an additional source of inspiration.[5] The textile became popular during the Konbaung dynasty, during which sumptuary laws regulated who could wear acheik clothing.[6] The acheik pattern was exclusively worn by members of the royal court, officials, and their entourages.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Green, Gillian (2012-05-25). "Verging on Modernity: A Late Nineteenth-Century Burmese Painting on Cloth Depicting the Vessantara Jataka". Journal of Burma Studies. 16 (1): 79–121. doi:10.1353/jbs.2012.0000. ISSN 2010-314X. S2CID 162846149.
  2. ^ "Silk acheik-luntaya | V&A Search the Collections". Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  3. ^ a b c d e Green, Alexandra (2008). Eclectic Collecting: Art from Burma in the Denison Museum. NUS Press. ISBN 978-9971-69-404-3.
  4. ^ Lynn, Kyaw Ye (26 January 2019). "Weavers of traditional textiles in Mandalay unite". Frontier Myanmar. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  5. ^ a b c d e Hardiman, John Percy (1901). Silk in Burma. superintendent, Government printing, Burma.
  6. ^ "The Tradition of Acheik Weaving in Myanmar – ICHCAP". Retrieved 2020-03-28.