Ways Of Making Robes For Buddhist Monks
Manufaturing robes has to follow the correct way according to the principles of Buddha's teachings.
The practice of making robes has 4 significant objectives :
- The wearer of the robe does not get to enjoy the soft smoothness of the robe and can only feel the roughness. This removes attachment.
- There should be lack of attachment to wearing the robe as it has been dyed with the bark of trees.
- Saffron robes for the monks must have many small compartments in order that they cannot be used for lay-purposes
- These saffron robes are regarded as the banner of ‘the arahats’ who have arrived at the final destination in Buddhism, the eternal escape from the cycle of rebirth.
So, it is important to follow the correct way of making robes for the monks. The robes are dyed with six substances obtained from the trees, namely dyes from roots, stems, bark, leaves, flowers and fruits.
The Buddha also allowed sis kinds of robe-materials:linen, cotton, silk, wood, coarse hempen cloth and canvas. The Lord Buddha allowed his noble disciples to make robes like the field laid out in strips, in lines, in embankments and in squares. To sew a robe, monks could make a cross-seam, a short cross-seam, a circular seam, a short circular seam, a central piece, side pieces, a neck-piece, a knee-piece and an elbow-piece. These pieces were roughly darned together to be suitable for recluses and not to be coveted by opponents.
The Buddha also allowed monks three robes:a double outer cloak, a single upper robe and a single inner robe to protect themselves from the cold.
So, raw matarials are important and carefully selected before preparing for making robes and cutting the materials.
When we make a new robe to be donated for the monks, a large piece of material is cut into small pieces. Then, they are joined and sewn in the shape of a paddy field, compartment by compartment as if it is made up of pieces of rag-robes, according to the Vinaya, monastic disciplines. In cutting the materials, there are two ways: cutting to get the accurate number of small pieces for a robe, and cutting to get the main parts for a robe.
In accordance with Vinaya Pitaka, the Canon of Monastic Disciplines, the compartments in a saffron robe resemble paddy fields of the farmers in the country of Magada, which existed at the time of Buddha being in this world and setting these principles. So, a saffron robe looks like a patchwork of squares of small pieces of clothes. Our Zawtika group manufactures these kinds of monastic robes exactly in accordance with the Vinaya and we offer the robes with the right standards and true quality control in the market.