Around 41 school going young girls aged 9 – 19 will be completing their winter weaving course at the Royal Textile Academy (RTA) in Thimphu on Monday.
The weaving course started on December 19 last year and comprises students who had decided to spend their winter vacation fruitfully.
As a beginner, students were taught to weave simple scarf using the traditional loom and also learn how to prepare warp and weft yarn. They were also trained on how to dye yarn, contemporary designs, color combination and basics on business and bookkeeping skills.
Meanwhile, the winter weaving program was started in 2014. Till date, 14 batches comprising over 250 trainees have completed their training from the RTA.
Each training spans over a period of three months and the trainee are taught plain cotton and silk weaves, yathra weaves, weaves with simple and difficult patterns depending on their existing skills level. The beginner start with simple cotton weaves and gradually learns how to weave simple patterns and then proceed to silk yarn and difficult patterns.
On average, students take about four days to complete a plain cotton muffler and one to two weeks for a simple pattern to complete. A total of 99 plain cotton mufflers and few simple pattern mufflers were woven during the three month program.
Meanwhile, each girl is paid a stipend of Nu 3,500. After the completion of a month-long program, the products- which are mostly the scarves- are sold to tourists through the Academy’s Museum shop.
According to the RTA, the winter program is aimed to impart textile knowledge and art of weaving to the children for preserving and promoting the textile traditions in the country. It is also targeted to productively engage the students during their long winter vacation.
RTA also provides students with the all necessary weaving tools and materials.
“Most of the students have never woven before and the products that they have woven have turned out pleasantly,” said an RTA official, adding that the younger generation are taking keen interest in this tradition and that they are looking forward for more participation in the coming winter program again.
The official added that youth are more energetic and eager to learn and that the program also gave a platform for the trained students to start at home which could be useful economically too.
Meanwhile, RTA is a registered Civil Society Organization (CSO) established in May 2001 under the patronage of Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay ChodenWangchuck.
Tshering from Thimphu