Traditional Process of Dyeing Woollen Yarns at Risk of Dying Out

Email

The traditional method of dyeing woollen yarns to weave Yathra in Bumthang is hardly practiced today. Yathra weaving is native to Bumthang valley and is particularly popular among the women of Chhumig Gewog.

 

The traditional method of dyeing woollen yarns to weave Yathra in Bumthang is hardly practiced today. Yathra weaving is native to Bumthang valley and is particularly popular among the women of Chhumig Gewog.

From over two hundred Yathra weavers of Chhumig Gewog in the past, currently only 56 years old Sonam Lhamo of Zung-Ngae village is the sole practitioner of the art.

She mostly collects the raw materials for dyeing from eastern Bhutan. She says the traditional dyeing method is time consuming and laborious. “That’s why our children prefer working in offices than taking up this kind of job. Let alone practice the dyeing method, not many children even like to weave now,” she said.

For example, dyeing a single skein of yarn usually takes over a week and can go up to a month as well. Moreover, the availability of wool has become scarce with the decline of sheep farming in the district. This has led weavers to opt for imported yarn which are readily available in the market today.

“Likewise, villagers have also given up the method because most of the buyers think yathra products are cheap. So, when they don’t fetch good prices, their interest wanes,” she added.

Sonam Lhamo has been running a handicraft shop in her village for over thirty years now. Some of the local weavers sell their yathra products in her shop which are woven from imported yarns even if most of the elderly women in the valley know the indigenous dyeing method.

“Now, people opt for imported yarn as it makes weaving much easier. We don’t get sheep wool too,” said Sonam adding that imported yarn was not available in the past. “In the past yathra weaving was not as extensive as it is today. People used to weave one or two pieces which were rich in patterns and of good quality.”

With the decline in the age old practice of making fabrics, it seems that the tradition which has long been associated with the valley will gradually become a thing of the past.

 

By Kipchu (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on BBS.

 

 


Related Posts

Preserving Bhutan’s Music and Traditions

“Bhutan is developing at a faster pace; traditional customs are not. We need to balance these developments. We are...

Sep 28, 2017 11:28

Thimphu Tschechu 2017 - A Visual Feast

Tschechu, meaning ‘tenth day’ also corresponds to the birthday of Guru Rimpoche (Guru Padmasambhava). This festival is a...

Oct 06, 2017 18:29

Fined for Refusing to Participate in a Village Festival

Sherab Dema, the daughter of the-once Dropon (lead dancer), was fined Nu 100,000 in Sept 2017 for refusing to...

Oct 11, 2017 07:58

Patterns of Happiness opens in Thimphu

With 71 paintings by various Bhutanese artists, a competition exhibition named Patterns of Happiness opened at the...

Sep 28, 2017 07:07

Discover Drupthob Chagzampa – The Great Iron Bridge Builder Who...

Revered as Drupthob Chagzampa or the ‘Great Iron Bridge Builder’, he was an early and unequalled master of engineering...

Oct 14, 2018 16:33

Carbon Negative Bhutan Strives To Maintain Its Status As The...

The mountainous state absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, thanks mainly to the lush forests covering...

Oct 12, 2018 17:36

Latest

News

General Election 2018: DNT To Head New Government In Bhutan

This is Bhutan’s third general election. The primary round of elections was held in September, where four parties contested to make it to...

Oct 19, 2018 18:51

Surgery To Separate Bhutanese Conjoined Twins Postponed

One of the twins' health has declined, revealed late night tests just before surgery on Friday.

Oct 12, 2018 16:27

Features

Discover Drupthob Chagzampa – The Great Iron Bridge Builder Who Constructed At Least 60 Suspension Bridges In Bhutan And Tibet

Revered as Drupthob Chagzampa or the ‘Great Iron Bridge Builder’, he was an early and unequalled master of engineering skills.

Oct 14, 2018 16:33

Carbon Negative Bhutan Strives To Maintain Its Status As The ‘Shangri-La’ With A Pristine Environment

The mountainous state absorbs three times more carbon dioxide than it emits, thanks mainly to the lush forests covering 72 per cent of its...

Oct 12, 2018 17:36

Sports

Bhutan's 'Judo Girl' Fighting For Her Sport Back Home

By competing at the Youth Olympic Games Bueno Aires 2018, 16-year-old Yangchen Wangmo is blazing a trail for judo in the small archery-mad...

Oct 10, 2018 12:45

Two Para Athletes To Represent Bhutan At 3rd Asian Para Games (6-13 Oct) In Palembang, Indonesia

Organised by the Asian Paralympic Committee, the Asian Para Games will be held from 6 - 13 October in Jakarta - Palembang, Indonesia.

Oct 06, 2018 13:06

Business

Bhutan’s DHI Business Acceleration Programme Partners With the University of Texas’s IC2 Institute To Draw On Their Expertise

The press release states that DHI has hired the services of IC2 Institute under the University of Texas, USA as a partner for the programme.

Oct 16, 2018 17:08

Bank At Your Doorstep – Bank Of Bhutan Introduces ‘Banking On Wheels’

Bank of Bhutan (BoB) introduced ‘banking on wheels’ on 3 Oct 2018. It travels to various areas in Thimphu on a fixed weekly schedule.

Oct 09, 2018 17:36

Travel

A Run Unlike Any Other, Get Up Close With Charming Locals And The Magic Of Bhutan’s Highlands In The Laya Run

The third edition of the Laya Run will take place on October 23 from Panjothong to Laya.

Oct 18, 2018 17:14

Be Intrigued By The Kunzang Khorlo Graph Found On The Walls Of Monasteries In Bhutan

In Bhutan, the circular or full wheel style of artistic poetry is found on the walls of many temples and dzongs as one enters the premises.

Oct 13, 2018 18:01

Lifestyle

Condé Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice Award Voted COMO Uma Punakha In Bhutan As The 3rd Best Hotel In The World

The Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Award is the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry.

Oct 19, 2018 18:59

ShaMa Foundation Reaches Rural Bhutan, Helps To Provide Potable Water To Remote Villages

The program aims to provide access to safe drinking water in remote and challenging geographies in Bhutan.

Oct 15, 2018 20:39

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!