Qualified: Seventeen women completed the three-month weaving course at the Royal Textile Academy in Thimphu yesterday.

Thinley Namgay

A three-month basic weaving skills training for 17 women consisting of school dropouts, employees laid-off by the pandemic, graduates, and illiterate ended in Thimphu yesterday. 

The session began from the spinning and rolling of yarns to warp preparation and weaving on a backstrap pangtha (loom). Participants learned hor (warp pattern method) weaving, bi sumpa (three crosshatches), bi ngapa (five crosshatches) and bi gupa (nine crosshatches). The trainees were given a monthly stipend of Nu 3,000.

Yeshi Dema, 24, from Gelephu, said that she was new to weaving and had difficulty coping up initially.  “Now, I am confident to weave hor. I want to impart this knowledge to others too.”

“I’m optimistic that women can lead a good life by weaving too. At the same time, society should encourage weavers by purchasing local products,” said Yeshi Dema.

The training was organised to provide market-need skills to job seekers, meet the human resource requirement with a competent workforce, earn income through weaving, and promote the unique Bhutanese textile.

Tshering Lhamo from Trashigang said that for unemployed youth, such training was helpful. “Using the skills that I gained from the training, I will start weaving and earning.  In future, I want to open my textile shop.”

Expert weavers and officials from the Royal Textile Academy (RTA)  conducted the training.

“Until now, I raised two children by weaving on a payment basis, but this is my first time weaving hor. This training would help explore another opportunity in my life,” a 39-year-old Ugyen Lhamo said.

They were trained at the RTA with support from the Department of Employment and Human Resources funded by the government of India.

As per the RTA press release, training on weaving trima would also be conducted for three months.  As of yesterday, 15 batches comprising over 350 trainees have completed their weaving training from the RTA.