Bhutan Tapestry: Textiles and Weavers

Explore Bhutan’s vibrant textile traditions and the & impact of weaving on society ~ 17 to 22 days
The art of weaving is held in high esteem in Bhutan. Men and women can be found avidly comparing notes and discussing the skills of their favorite weavers who quickly establish a name in their community. When judging the quality of a particular weaver’s work, enthusiasts study the tightness of the ground weave, the delicacy of the supplementary weft or warp patterns. Also assessed and valued by connoisseurs and lay people alike are the the ingenuity of motifs, colors and design combinations. Bhutanese weavers use cotton, silk or wool to create stunning and vivid tapestries but are perhaps best known for brocade patterning and the floating warp technique. As seamlessly as the act of weaving itself is accomplished, the textiles that are created—indeed, most of them are works of art—constitute an integral mesh in the tapestry of Bhutanese life. Apart from the family’s clothing needs, handwoven fabrics are also tasteful gifts on special occasions such as marriages and government job promotions. The best of these are also traded in the same way as gold, land or stocks and bonds. Families pass down exquisite pieces to successive generations as heirlooms and keepsakes that can be traded in times of economic hardship or preserved as investment. At Skykingdom Adventures, we help you unravel the secrets behind this rich and most uniquely Bhutanese of traditions. Along the way, you will make good friends, enjoy the stunning Himalayan scenery and fall in love with Bhutan and our storied traditions of weaving.

textiles_471x365ITINERARY IN BRIEF
Day 1: Arrive in Paro, visit the National Museum.

Days 2 & 3: Transfer to Thimphu, walking tour of the capital and central monuments.

Days 4 & 5: Visit the National Textile Muesum and the national institute for Bhutan’s 13 arts and crafts, where young painters use lengths of brocade and fabrics to create Thangkas, or scroll paintings, hike to the Tango Buddhist College.

Days 6 & 7: visit a weaving center established by a leading male weaver of Bhutan and visit a local mansion to glimpse how the tradition lives on in individual homes. Meet a Skykingdom family member who has been an avid collector and longtime weaving enthusiast for a quick primer on Bhutanese weaving.

Day 8: Transfer to Wangduephodrang with a stop at the 10,000-foot Dochula pass.

Day 9: Transfer to Bumthang.

Day 10: Visit the yathra (wool weaving) center at Chumey village and learn about the exacting art of dyeing the wool, with an opportunity to take the “weaver’s seat” and try your hand at creating a short length or panel of fabric.

Days 11: Walking tour of Jakar valley with stops at the valley’s main shrines and temples.

Days 12 and 13: Excursion and picnic lunch in bucolic Ura Valley, transfer to Wangdu with a
stop at Trongsa.

Day 14: Hike to Khamsum Temple and a visit to majestic Punakha fortress.

Day 15: Transfer to Thimphu, in time for an evening stroll in town.

Day 16: Transfer to Paro valley and visit the Kyichu Temple and Paro Dzong.

Day 17: Traditional lunch and tea service at the family farm of a senior Skykingdom guide, or an excursion into the newly opened Haa Valley. Day 18: Hike to Taktshang “Tiger’s Nest” Monastery.

Day 19: Return flight to Bangkok or another gateway city. (This travel program may also be extended to the far-east weaving regions of Khoma, Khaling and Trashiyangtse by abbreviating our general program, or by adding a few more days. Please consult us for details.)