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Textiles of the East (Trashigang/Lhuntse)

Textiles of the East

In the high eastern mountain villages you will come across women weaving in the open air with their back-strap looms. They are Bhutan's weavers who ply their trade on the open mountain side or field singing gently as they rock back and forth. Yarns and threads are dyed in vegetable dye and dried for a week before being woven into a traditional Goh & Kira. Goh is men's dress and Kira is women's dress. Weavers produce raw silk, silk on cotton, and silk on silk textiles. The finest weavers are found in Lhuentse district in the eastern Bhutan. The weaving art is passed down from generation to generation. Since the crops grown are usually just enough to feed the village in a good year, these hand-loom textiles become a good way for the village to get supplementary cash income for daily necessities. A complete Kira is made up from three pieces sewn together to form a large rectangular piece which is drapped and folded around a woman's body and clinched in at the waist with a Kera (Belt).

The entire weaving process takes between six months to one year to complete set of dress. The Bhutanese prize these textiles so highly that they are considered part of a family's wealth. Weaving is truly an amazing art form found only in the Kingdom of Bhutan.