Neten Dorji

Lhuentse – Women of Khoma village in Lhuentse will no longer have to worry about marketing issues as the gewog administration has identified 10 decimals of land to build a two-storey common showroom and a weaving centre.

Khoma Gup, Tshering Wangdi, said that the construction of the showroom is set to begin within two months. 

“The drawing work has been completed. We are expecting to complete it within five months. The only problem is the shortage of budget, as it would cost more than the budget supported by the Department of Tourism,” he said. 

The Department of Tourism provided support of Nu 0.3 million.

Khoma village

In the absence of a showroom and weaving centre in Khoma, weavers faced challenges in selling their products, prompting requests for a showroom for over five years.

Weavers said that a showroom has become a necessity in the gewog as the number of visitors has been growing. 

“It has been more than two years without any work progress. Now we heard the gewog administration has been working to construct the house,” a resident said.

A weaver, Tshewang Dema, said that most weavers were unable to offer or display their products. 

“Marketing is not an issue if we receive orders, but if we weave to sell our own products, we face challenges in selling the textiles even for years,” she said. “If there is a showroom, we may not face any marketing challenges.”

Another weaver, Nedup Zangmo, said that the showroom and weaving centre would benefit both weavers and buyers. 

“Both foreigners and local tourists visit our village to witness the weaving culture of Khoma, but we don’t have a proper place to sell our products,” said the mother. “When visitors arrived in the village, they were unsure of where to go because we don’t have a suitable centre to display products.”

Weavers said that, in the absence of a showroom, most of them were left out as they do not have contact with buyers. The women’s weaving group in Khoma has 34 members who weave and sell products.

Today, most women weave in groups, saving boredom compared to working individually at home. They engage in lively conversation while weaving.

About 80 percent of women in Khoma village depend on kishuthara as their bread and butter. They start weaving at 6am and stop only by 9pm.

A weaver said that once, women were using the two-storey structure constructed by Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary in 2017 as their showroom. 

“Not many were interested in using that centre since we have to walk an hour from our home. Moreover, it is inconvenient to walk up and down,” she said. 

She said a proper centre would not only boost the marketing of kishuthara but also other local products. 

The weaving centre would benefit not only women in Khoma village but also women in adjoining Nyalamdung, Goenpakarpo, Baptong, Gangla Khema, Berpa villages who also weave kishuthara full-time.