Bhutan Textiles



Bhutanese Textile is among the last of the major work of Asia to gain recognition in the West. Bhutan's textile especially the intricate brocades and complex supplementary warp patterns, are unmatched anywhere in the world. Hand-loomed fabrics have been integral to Bhutanese culture for centuries and remain the country's most distinctive art form. The finest work is known as 'heart-weaving' the most exquisite silks, woolens and cottons, usually made into traditional garments characterised by brilliant individuality and careful finish.

Textile and handicrafts are a reflection of the custom and the society. The handicrafts of Bhutan are unique in their indigenous technique. The rarity and exquisite beauty coupled with intricate design add to its appeal. A wide range of carefully and intricately designed textiles woven out of mettle, yak hair, silk, cotton and wool makes each item a distinctive work of art. The Bhutanese weaving style reaching out to new fashion trends is fast emerging as one of the greatest textile tradition, the world has ever seen.

Weaving is closely associated with women and is the only one of Bhutan's traditional arts and crafts that is dominated by women. Bhutani's weavers specialise in working additional decorative wraps and wefts into the 'ground' of a fabric. The most elaborate weavings are usually for the traditioanl style kira and gho, and these garments may take up to a year to weave in silk. One of the best-known styles of weaving comes from the ancestral home region of a royal family. Lhuntse in the north east. Weavers here specialise in decorating kira, bags, and other textiles with elaborate patterns that reassemble embroidery. The famous Kushuthara kira- featuring red and blue, and multicoloured silk patterning on a white ground originated garments woven from wild silk.

Anothe sought after fabric is yathra, a striped woollen cloth from the Bumthang region. Lenghts of this colourful yardage are stitched into blankets, cloaks and cushion covers and nowadays into car seat covers.

Some Famous Textiles of Bhutan

Chaksey Pangkep

Bhutan, cotton supplementary weft. Used as a lap cloth or to cover the arm while serving the nobility. This example is of the type known as Chukep because of its intricate and varied weaving.

Handwoven Large Bhutanese Textile

This large cloth is actually worn wrapped as a dress by Bhutanese women, but it makes a wonderful wall hanging or bed cover. It's 58" x 94" of a heavy handloomed cotton in stripes of mainly black with red, bright pink, orange, pale blue, green and white. It has many handwoven & embroidered geometric designs of flowers and other things.

Alathea Vavasour

Traditional Bhutanese weaving is a functional craft and an eloquent art. The rainbow colours and exuberant designs speak for this enduring national art". Vavasour Fabrics aims to market and help preserve the textile industry in Bhutan.

Tibetan Nambu Textile Runner

A rare old Tibetan textile. It is a felt backed runner with a design featuring the ancient and highly collectable tie-dye technique known as Nambu in Tibetan
This "Nambu" dyeing technique is traditional and since centuries long passed the people of neighboring cultures and regions held this design in high regard and there was naturally a strong aesthetic association with this textile design technique and the Tibetans.

Handwoven Old Range Large Bhutanese Textile

This large cloth is actually worn wrapped as a dress by Bhutanese women, but it makes a wonderful wall hanging or bed cover. It's 54" x 95" of a heavy handloomed cotton with a natural background covered with geometric designs in muted shades of purple, magenta, pink, orange,black and light blue. Old Bhutanese textiles like this are exceedingly hard to find.