Fiber Arts in Bhutan

I had the great good fortune to be in Bhutan for spring break. Imagine my delight one day, when we went to a preserve to see some of the endangered local beasties (takin and barking deer) and found women nearby engaged in fiber crafts.

I remember a discussion on Ravelry a few years ago regarding homemade swifts.  I saw a number of swifts like this one.

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This industrious woman sold a number of her weavings in the short time that I was there.

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Later in the week we were hiking down from a visit to a monastery.  As we walked through a small village I came upon this lovely sight, hand dyed yarn. I wonder if it is spun from yak hair.

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I suspect one of these women was the dyer. Notice the heavy jacket but bare feet. These people are so much hardier than I am after living in the tropics at sea level for nine years.

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A few days later we were in Thimphu visiting a school for the 12 traditional arts.  Here is a first year student using a backstrap loom.

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And these students are sewing the lovely Buddha’s earrings and banners of triumph (celebrating the spread of Buddhist teachings.) Crafts such as these sell for big bucks in the local craft stores.
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Men in Bhutan traditionally wear a woven garment called a gho. Our guide’s sister wove the fabric for his gho. He says he owns around 15 gho. I suspect that is more than most people. It is common for middle class families to employ their own weaver to weave the fabric for the family’s clothes and linens. Here are some art students wearing their school uniforms.

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And these cuties are wearing their best kiras for the Paro festival. Our guide told us that people may only wear there very best clothes once a year at their local festival.

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2 thoughts on “Fiber Arts in Bhutan

  1. Wow very nice photos! Bhutain is a dream destination of mine. I wonder if you tried weaving also. That would be interesting. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

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