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Published on Aug 23, 2007
Limbu women from the eastern part of Nepal used to be great fabric-artist entrepreneurs and very hard working a couple of centuries ago. There were no imported threads available for weaving then, therefore they used to grow cotton themselves in their fields. They used to spin thread for weaving after harvesting raw cotton and drying it in the sun. The women used to weave handloom cloth called "Dhaka". Traditional Nepalese Dhaka weaving is characterized by colorful geometric designs. The loom is made of wood and bamboo. This type of traditional weaving has been bequeathed to their female descendents. This traditional material is also used in interior decoration for modern contemporary houses; you can find it used for cushion covers, curtains, table runners, table mats, wall hangings, etc. This material is also used in boutiques to make unusual and unique designer outfits. Definitely the credit goes to our mothers and grandmothers for passing such skills down through the generations. The skill of weaving Dhaka material is endangered because of mass production of imported material from China and India.
I visited Nepal in March, 2007 and met with Kalpana YongHang. I asked her how this traditional weaving is done. Kalpana weaves at her home in Gokarna outside of Kathmandu. She wants to continue this work to preserve this traditional weaving art of Limbus. She started weaving 5 years ago with just one loom, now there are about 12 women who weave with her. She is looking for a designing partner to produce items which meet international standards to sell in the global market. Kindly write to us by email at EkshaCreations@aol.com. Your suggestions are welcomed to help preserve this "Traditional Dhaka Weaving of Limbus in Nepal".