Zero-Waste Bhutanese Textiles

Backstrap loom

Wangchuk Llamo on a backstrap loom:

Wangchuk Lhamo and Karma Choden are second and third-generation weavers in the valley of Thimphu, Bhutan.

Wangchuk preserves weaving traditions with a focus on sustainable practices, starting from intentional material sourcing that ensures the plants--such as handspun nettle, locally grown cotton, and eri silk--will produce next year. After using homegrown natural dyes with a traditional fermentation process called bangtshoe, the yarn is handspun on a pangtha loom, one of the oldest looms used in Bhutan. Through careful measurements, no yarn is wasted in production, and the natural dyes become organic fertilizer for their kitchen garden.

Colours of Bhutan:

The painstaking process to ensure zero waste reflects an important pillar of a Bhutanese Buddhist value: The interdependence of all things, and that conservation of nature is a necessity for maintaining this balance not only for nature’s sake, but also for human health.

Karma Choden previously worked for the UN, NGOs, and government agencies before dedicating herself to textiles. She has trained over 2,000 artisans to support generating income for women in Bhutan.

The designs draw inspiration from both the colors in Himalayan Buddhist art and the surrounding natural landscape.

Blankets from Wangchuck Lhamo
Wangchuk Llamo's collection of throw blankets

Tablecloth from Bhutan

Table cloth from Karma Choden

View the Collection

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