Empowering weaving communities through tailoring training- Pema Gatshel

Eastern Bhutan is renowned for its handloom weaving tradition in the country. It is also known as the country’s weavers’ hub. In a bid to keep the tradition alive and financially empower the weaving communities in the east, about 20 young participants from Chongshing and Yurung Gewogs in Pema Gatshel are receiving tailoring training.

The three-month-long training began at Thongsa Village in Chongshing Gewog today. It is part of the labour ministry’s “Village Skills Development Programme.”

One of the participants is 19-year-old Phuntsho Wangmo from Thongsa Village. She has discontinued schooling to eke out a living from weaving cotton textiles.

However, without any tailoring skills, she is confronted with the challenge to stitch woven textile pieces into ready-made attires such as tego and kira.

“These days most people are looking for ready-made tegos and other traditional garments. So, I hope to gain ample skills from this tailoring training and generate more income,” she said.

At the moment, a piece of cotton textile fetches Nu 5,000 to 7,000. But, as per Phuntsho’s calculation, the price will double if the piece is turned into the final product.

Like her, other participants have pinned high hopes on the training to increase their textile sales.

“Customers demand ready-made garments, so when we sell a woven piece, we can’t earn much. So, I look forward to gaining profound stitching skills to enhance my income,” said another participant, Pema Zangmo from Yurung Gewog.

Participants will acquire stitching and sewing skills in national outfits such as gho, kira, tego and traditional belts.

The labour ministry said such training is meant for grooming weaver entrepreneurs and not merely to impart technical skills.

Thinley Dorji , Pema Gatshel

Edited by Pema Lhaden

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