What a wonderful time to be visiting Bhutan! I love the thrima technique and will be there in December to see this new exhibition. Continue reading
This year we are led by Patrizia Franceschinis Tshering. Living in Bhutan since 1982, married to a Bhutanese, Patrizia is an enthusiastic collector of textile art and handwoven textiles from South-South East Asia. Patrizia applies 21 years’ work in women’s development with international and non-governmental organizations with a life-long interest in textile design and hand weaving and has worked with Bhutanese master weavers and artists for decades. Continue reading
Recently I wrote about the imitation of shibori in embroideries on display in the exhibition China: Through the Lens of John Thomson at the National Textile Museum in Washington, DC (Textiles Imitating Textiles).
A few days ago, I was privileged to view the beautiful textiles submitted for Bhutan’s national textile competition and enjoyed another embroidery that beautifully portrayed textiles.
I loved going back to Bhutan with a decent amount of savings this time, meaning I could buy some of the high quality pieces I had only been able to collect as photos in 2011. Continue reading
I am pleased to announce that I will be giving a series of lectures and workshops in Bhutanese kushutara in the US and Canada in Fall 2015: Continue reading
I recently encountered a Bhutanese kira that is unlike any other I have seen. The weaver has pushed the boundaries both literally and figuratively. Continue reading
I am delighted to announce that Textile Trails, The Australian Himalayan Foundation and Bhutan and Beyond have teamed up to offer a once-in-a-lifetime tour of Bhutan tailored to those with a special interest in textiles and women’s empowerment. Continue reading
Recently I enjoyed browsing through the sumptuous kushutara brocades paraded down the catwalk at the Window to Woven Dreams fashion show held at the opening of the new Royal Textile Academy of Bhutan. Continue reading
A short break in Australia has given me a chance to catch up with the contents of parcels mailed home. Here are some clearer photos of the kushutara samples I wove in Bhutan. Continue reading
I have recently enjoyed a rather clear video of kushutara weaving posted on YouTube:
It’s nice to see a close-up video of a weaver working relatively slowly. Continue reading
Recently the King of Bhutan married his bride, Jetsun Pema. Watching the ceremony taking place in Punakha, I heard Bhutanese wondering why the King was wearing floral brocade rather than one of his many handsome aikapur ghos, which they considered more typically Bhutanese. Continue reading
Kushutara pieces are expensive because they are so labour intensive, so I have purchased only one large piece. The remainder of my “collection” is in the more affordable form of the photographs on the other pages of this website. Continue reading
Thrima means “to coil” and there are several ways the Bhutanese coil the supplementary weft threads in their kushu designs. Continue reading
Sapma designs look very similar to supplementary weft patterns from non-Bhutanese weaving traditions, except that the Bhutanese technique is not visible on the reverse of the fabric. The other difference is that thread ends are worked as pairs. Continue reading
A stiff 3-hour walk up the hill from Khoma (1000m higher) brought us to Goenpaka, where the standard of kushutara weaving is even higher. Here the weavers’ skills are so highly valued that they are completely spared from working in the fields, and can weave throughout the day and into the evening.
I had the great joy of spending 5 days in the village of Khoma in Lhuentse, Eastern Bhutan, the area famed for weaving kushutara.
Tsechu (festival) time is heaven for a textile voyeur like me. Everyone wears their finest clothes, and in Paro that meant the opportunity to see many especially fine kushutara kiras on the women. Continue reading