In an effort to preserve and promote art of weaving, the Royal Textile Academy (RTA) conducted a one-and-half-month winter weaving programme that was attended by 29 students.

Two batches of students were trained for three weeks each.

Students were awarded certificates along with a scarf each in Thimphu yesterday.

Curator of RTA, Pema C Wangchuk, said that weaving is one of the most sophisticated and time-consuming arts. “RTA provides training to any interested individual to learn the art of weaving.”

In 2014, a group of students approached the academy expressing their interest to be enrolled in such a programme. The annual weaving programme was started then.

As weaving is an integral component of the culture and tradition, the academy targets students in the country to avail of the opportunity, she said.

Fourteen-year-old Sonam Dolma enrolled in the programme through her mother. “In the start, I came to the academy as my mother had me enrolled. However, I got interested in learning the art.”

Given a chance, she wants to learn more about the art, and even weave complex motifs and patterns, she said.

Executive director at RTA, Rinzin O Dorji, said that it was important that youth understood the culture of weaving and commended on the quality of fabrics produced by the students.

Trainer Phurpa Wangmo said that until now she taught plain weaving on a back-strap loom to children. “Because of limited time, we train them on the basics such as preparing supplementary wefts.”

The academy has plans to provide training on weaving motifs.

Karma Sonam Lhamo, 14, said that she wove four scarves during the three-week training. “It was a good learning experience and I feel that I could make living from it if I cannot perform better in my studies.”

RTA’s weaving programme has trained about 85 individuals.

Rinchen Zangmo