One of Bhutan’s unique art forms is its rich textile weaving tradition known for its vibrant use of colour, patterns, dyeing methods and weaving techniques.
Handloom fabrics have been integral to Bhutanese culture for centuries and remain the most distinctive art form.
Hand woven textiles are still offered as gifts during special occasions such as weddings and birthday celebrations.
It is also the only traditional art dominated by Bhutanese women who are the owners and innovators of this artistic skill, nurtured and developed from generation to generation.
Weaving in Bhutan is a home-based skill using a backstrap loom. Weavers take pride in being able to create weaves that are visually stunning in colour, texture and pattern.
Most of the designs and patterns are inspired by nature and Buddhist themes although inspiration for some patterns come beyond the national borders such as the Jana Chari or the great wall.
Bhutan’s vibrant textile weaving tradition continues to attract attention of collectors and scholars because of its highly refined aesthetics manifested in intricate patterning unique to Bhutan tourism culture, all done on an ordinary back strap loom.
Different regions of the country have their own specialised design. Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan, is known for Yathra, a vegetable dyed woolen weave and Lhuentse in the eastern part of the country is known for its intricately patterned Kishuthara weave.
The textiles are a cultural storehouse and play a key role in the social and religious life of the Bhutanese. Not long ago woven brocade were a measure of wealth and status.
Even today special weaves worn on special occasions and functions to indicate social status. According to some Buddhist scholars the motifs and designs of Bhutanese textiles manifest ancient wisdom and is a source of knowledge.
The Bhutan textile tour package will take you across the country, starting from the emporiums where intricate weaves are displayed to the homes of the most celebrated weavers in the eastern part of the country.
To a large extent the refinement in Bhutanese weaving is because of the patronage of the aristocracy and of the royalty in the past century.
Bhutanese weaves are today valued not only for their economic value and aesthetics but also as a symbol of Bhutan’s highly refined artistic heritage. This art form is treasured by Bhutan and the government organises competitions to recognize weavers.
If one needs to see this unique way of making cloths in bhutan always ask travel agents for textile tour package.
In 2012 a textile academy opened in the capital mainly to preserve and promote this rich art form that is unmatched anywhere in the world particularly the complex weft patterns.