Coals not cords


Still commonly used throughout Myanmar, coal-heated irons are far from obsolete here. On offer at a metalworker’s shop, their independence from electricity makes them ideal for contexts with unstable electrical grids. They require a good deal of skill to use properly, and at my preferred tailor there is one person whose sole responsibility is Annihilator of Wrinkles and is quite adept at “sensing” the optimal ironing temperature.

Cue the debate of electrified/automatic versions of machines no longer need the exclusive “finesse” of analogue/manual versions.

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