Tibetan Spinning Craft and Social Design

Chen Liang

Tibetan Spinning Craft and Social Design

Ritoma is a small village sitting on the Tibetan Plateau over 3.000 meters above sea level. Tents and monasteries are strewn on the rolling highlands, where the nomads lead an old-fashioned simple life as their forefathers did, far away from the riotous cities. Due to seclusion and remoteness, the residents here rarely had the chance to acquire education or work. Young men in the village mostly went to big cities to seek for jobs, while women, seniors and children usually stayed and still lived the old-fashioned life. Only till less than two decades ago, when Dechen Yeshi, the girl of Tibetan (father) and American (mother) descent, arrived in the village, did changes really take place. At the end of 2007 the workshop Norlha was established in Ritoma, for which Dechen recruited over 30 villagers as the first workers. Based on the unique material in the plateau region and the thousand-year-old spinning craft, the workshop produces all kinds of quality textiles of yak khullu, such as scarfs, clothes, carpets, etc. Soon after they came on market, those products were quickly favoured by many internationally renowned luxury brands. The exquisite textiles thus walked out of the small village and to metropolises like Paris, New York, etc. In the meantime Norlha kept growing and has developed into an original design brand with over 100 employees and customers all over the world from a menial workshop. Download PDF

Tibetan Spinning Craft and Social Design