The crucible of exquisite Bhutanese yarns and textile, Khoma village in Lhuntse is notably reputed to be the forerunners of Bhutan’s thriving weaving culture. It is here the impeccable Kishuthara weaves, considered the best in the country and sold in the premium, had originated.
Located about 11.5 kilometers from the district headquarters, the scenic village of about 340 households and a population of just a little more than a thousand produces some of the finest traditional silk fabrics in the country. The tradition of weaving top-notch textiles, as fitting for the royalties, probably took root in the region as it is the ancestral home of the Wangchuck dynasty.
As you walk past the cluster of traditional houses that dots the gentle slopes of Khoma, the thumping sound the looms resonate in the air. It is usually the women who engage in the craft and most prefer the traditional back-strap loom technique to weave these exquisite textiles with delicate patterns and vibrant colours.
In the past the weavers used indigenous silk and natural dyes that were procured from the nearby forests, however, with availability of ready-made yarns the tradition of natural dyeing is gradually waning. Nonetheless, the culture of weaving Kishuthara is still vibrant in the community and weavers take pride in being labelled the best in the trade, a tradition that has been passed down from generations.
Kishuthara is a garment for women and is highly sought after for its delicate patterns and premium quality. A garment reserved only for the novelties in the past, it is worn only on special occasions and festivals and is considered a family heirloom. Apart from these textiles they also produce fabrics and accessories for everyday use like bags, tablecloths, mats and aprons to further diversify their products. The spectacle of rows of women engaged in their looms as their dexterous fingers work magic with the patterns is truly a sight to behold.