Crafts: Instead of spending their winter holidays at home, twenty five girls are learning the art of traditional weaving, the art of yarn dyeing, contemporary skills related to design and colour combination, and are acquiring basic knowledge on business and book keeping skills.

The weaving centre at the Royal Textile Academy (RTA) in Thimphu conducted the winter weaving training programme from December 19 last year. It ended this month.

Certificates were awarded to the participants for the completion of the training programme yesterday.

So far, 12 batches comprising of 200 students have attended the winter weaving training programme, which usually spans over three months. The students learn how to weave plain cotton and silk textiles, yathra, and textiles with simple to intricate patterns depending on their skills.

Participants were awarded with certificates for the completion of the training programme

RTA’s programme officer, Rinzin Dema, said beginners start with plain cotton weaves and gradually learn how to weave simple patterns, and then proceed to silk yarn and intricate patterns.

“The programme is targeted to productively engage the students and train them in the art of weaving during their holidays. Students are provided with necessary weaving tools and materials from the centre as well as a minimum stipend to purchase their school necessities,” Rinzin Dema said.

We are happy that the younger generations are taking a keen interest in this traditional art and we look forward to more participation from youth in the coming years, Rinzin Dema said.

For Dorji Youden, 12, studying in Changrigphel Middle Secondary School, it’s her first time weaving a simple design scarf. “I decided to learn how to weave in case I don’t get a job in the future. I can always earn through weaving,” Dorji Youden said.

When Dorji Youden was younger, her mother used to weave at home but now she runs a shop. “Since our national dress is gho and kira, it’s important for young people like us to uphold our culture. So I want to learn how to weave and pass it on to others.”

Phurba Wangmo, 40, is tutoring these young girls and she has never been more proud of them.

There are some who haven’t even touched a yarn before and now they are weaving a scarf, and some have even started weaving simple yet intricate patterns, Phurba Wangmo said. “We are grateful for organisations such as RTA for providing young girls with an opportunity to learn weaving, an art every Bhutanese should know.”

Thinley Zangmo


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