The handicrafts of Bhutan are unique in character and renowned for their intricate and superb craftsmanship. The school of thirteen arts reflects a vigorous and thriving tradition that has been passed down through the ages.
The development of handicrafts over the centuries derives from the people’s extraordinary sense of creativity, while religion remains the primary basis for much of the work. The handicrafts symbolize the identity of the country and are an important income-generating activity at many levels of Bhutanese society. In recent years the government has initiated programs in the rural areas to train local craftspeople and to encourage them to diversify their products for the tourist market.
Bhutanese handicrafts include hand-woven carpets, woven cotton and silk fabrics – which may take a year to weave – that are hand-dyed with vegetable dyes, bamboo products, wooden cups and bowls, handmade paper, silverware and paintings. Most of the handicrafts are produced during the winter when farmers are not required to be in their fields. Almost every family has one member who can weave intricate textiles.
Textiles are made from cotton, silk, and nettle. From centuries the art of weaving has been perfected and the intricate designs will make your eyes question how such pieces can be created by hand.