Tshering Namgyal | Lhuentse

Women of Khoma in Lhuentse, who are known for weaving silk kira with vibrant colour and intricate pattern and design, want a textile showroom in the village.

They claim the showroom would benefit both weavers and buyers.

A member of a 34-member women’s weaving group in Khoma, Yangzom, said a common showroom and weaving centre in the area would help them and make it easy for visitors and customers.

She said there is charm while weaving in group as it saves boredom compared to doing individually at home. “There is incredible fun weaving together in group, cracking jokes and talking.”

Another member, Tsheten Lhamo, said many women from the group weave at homes together.

She said weaving kishuthara is their bread and butter. “We start the chore from 6am and stop it only by 6pm.”

Without a dedicated showroom and weaving centre that can accommodate all, only six or seven women weave in group in a weaving centre constructed by the former gup.

Earlier, women were using the two-storeyed structure constructed by Bumdeling Wildlife  Sanctuary in 2017 as their showroom.

However, not many were keen using as it was an hour walk away from their homes. They claimed it was inconvenient.

Some women said they were not able to sell products and a proper centre would boost marketing their products.

Lhuentse dzongkhag planning officer, Pema Tshewang, said the dzongkhag identified land to construct both the centre and showroom.

He said they submitted the drawing along with the cost estimate to ‘One Gewog One Product (OGOP) under the Queen’s Project.

He said the structure would come in three floors with the top floor being showroom, middle one for the weaving centre and the ground floor for thread shop and tailoring machine room.

Meanwhile, while the women are engaged in full length kiras, young girls and elderly women weave other products like table clothes, mufflers and shawls as it’s a decent source of income.

It was learnt that some women have abandoned farming works for weaving over the years. Villagers even claim  youth are now coming back to take their age-old tradition.

A class 12 graduate, Tashi Choden, is one of them who chose to stay back in the village and take weaving as life long career. “At the time of increased unemployment rate, there are now equal or better opportunities in villages with basic amenities.”

Similarly, women of adjoining Nyalamdung, Goenpakarpo, Baptong, Gangla Khema, Berpa villages also weave kishuthara full time, but claims that tourists have stopped visiting their places after Khoma became renowned for kishuthara.

Pema Tshewang said if the project gets through, they would work out for a proper management plan inclusive of other local weaving communities in the gewog.