Kishuthara weavers of Khoma in Lhuentse will soon get their much-awaited showroom. The Gewog Administration in collaboration with the Department of Tourism will be starting works to construct the showroom latest by July this year. Khoma is known for its age-old tradition of weaving Kishuthara, an intricately patterned silk textile. Almost 80 per cent of the villagers continue to depend on weaving even today as their main source of income. However, without a showroom, marketing their prized handwoven textiles has remained a challenge for most weavers in the gewog.
For the weavers in Khoma, the day begins as early as 6 AM. And they keep weaving until seven in the evening.
The weavers can earn up to 240,000 for a piece of Kira or a Gho depending on the complexity of the design.
But without a showroom to display their products, some of the weavers are unable to sell the textiles.
“Marketing is not an issue if we receive orders as they provide us with the yarn. But if we weave to sell on our own, we face challenges in selling the textiles even for years, sometimes,” said Namgay Zam, a weaver.
“We face problems. Since we have only limited products, we are unable to offer them for sale in faraway places. I have two Kira, which are left unsold for almost two years,” said Thinley Mo, another weaver.
“We may not face any marketing challenge if there is a showroom,” said Tshering Lhamo, a weaver.
Nevertheless, Khoma Gup said that he had raised the need for a showroom with the authorities concerned out of sheer concern although he hadn’t received any official complaints from the people so far regarding the matter.
“In the Khoma Gewog Center, we have visitors, both foreigners and local tourists. But we don’t have a proper place to sell our products. So, after I was elected as the Gup, I found it important to have a showroom. That is why I had to seek help from the Department of Tourism,” said Tshering Wangdi, Khoma Gup.
Besides the showroom, people in Khoma can expect a weaving hall that can accommodate around 25 weavers. The Gewog office says it will make sure that the weavers make the best use of it.
“Many tourists visit us daily to witness the weaving culture of Khoma. It is seen as a failure on the Gewog Administration’s part when we do not have a showroom here. So, we plan to have a showroom for all the products of Khoma Gewog as well as a weaving hall,” added Khoma Gup.
The Gewog office initially planned to build a three-storeyed building. But due to budget constraints, they have now changed the plan to construct a single-storied building which can accommodate both the showroom and the weaving hall. The project worth Nu 3 M funded by the Department of Tourism is expected to be completed within this year.