The trainees include housewives, university graduate, and those who lost jobs recently

Chhimi Dema

A group of women trainees at the Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan (RTA) are learning how to weave a traditional textile called Hor.

They are hoping to find gainful employment after they complete the training, which is part of the labour ministry’s critical skills training in collaboration with RTA.

Pema Yuden, 20, is the youngest among the trainees.  She is determined to make a living out of weaving traditional textiles. “With my tailoring skills, I can make different products

The 19 trainees are also taught how to weave B-Sam Pa (three crosshatches) and B-Gu Pa (nine crosshatches), among others.

The trainees include housewives, a university graduate, and those who lost jobs recently.

Tshering Dema, a trainee, said that she started weaving early as a young girl. “Weaving can be a very lucrative business,” she said. “I can finish weaving a gho in about a week. That means I can make Nu 15,000 in a week.”

Lhachi Zangmo, a trainer, said that those who did not have prior weaving experience were obviously facing some difficulties.

“Learning depends on the interest of the individual. If one was interested, one can pick up fast.”

At a time when finding a job is becoming difficult, one could work from home and made a decent income, she said. “This also is a wonderful opportunity for women to be independent. Financial independence is important for women to make their own choices. Weaving Hor kira or gho one can earn from Nu 15,000 to Nu 18,000 in a month.”

The trainees are given a monthly stipend of Nu 3,000.

Tshering Lhamo, 26, from Trashigang, said that she had been unemployed for eight months. “I don’t have to worry now. With weaving skills, I can now earn a decent income.”

The training is funded by the Government of India.