Story: Fit for a Prince

4 mai 2021
ITC News
A rug seen in Royal photos becomes a source of special acknowledgement for Bhutanese textile handicraft artisans.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a spectacular, landlocked country. An integral part of Bhutanese life and culture, the handicraft textile industry employs about half of the country’s workforce, with one in five women in Bhutan engaged in weaving.

It is a tradition that has been sustained for centuries; a craft passed on as the fabric of heritage from mother to daughter. Through generations, the artistic patronage of the Royal Family has been integral in preserving the unique cultural heritage. The thick hand-woven woollen textile known as Yathra in Bhutan is a favourite with buyers from across the world, and the use of natural fabric dyes adds to its appeal.

Recently the first birth anniversary of His Royal Highness the Prince Gyalsey Ugyen Wangchuck was celebrated at the Lingkana Palace gardens.

Yarn and Yathra, a clothing and textile house in the capital city of Thimphu, was deeply honoured to discover that their rug was used by Our Royal Family in the special set of photographs released on the occasion. Each of the intricate patterns on the rug carries an auspicious meaning, representing luck and prosperity.

The rug, already a best seller, was developed within the framework of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project in collaboration with the Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts. With support from the International Trade Centre and funding from the European Union, Bhutanese artisans are adapting their product design and quality, matching the needs of international buyers in addition to improving business skills.