The legendary weaving tradition of Bhutan, spanning several centuries with meticulously-constructed traditional and classic design layouts, continue to be woven to this day. This photographic volume provides a visual tribute and catalogue of the kira. It is the national and traditional dress of Bhutanese womenfolk worn with pride, in daily life and on special occasions.
This key catalogue and special focus on kiras begins the exploration with the kishung or poncho, said to be the forerunner of the presentday kira. The photographs in this volume document the kira’s evolution as a garment. Depending on the quality and intricacy of patterns, the weaver may be required to spend up to two years of daylight hours to create one kira.
The kira is akin to a blank canvas upon which weavers display, thread by thread, their creative inspiration.
The excellence, evidence of painstaking crafting, and highly-formed creative abilities of the Bhutanese women weavers present to us a visual range of wearable art that is both beautiful and functional. Expression of design skills provides a near-kaleidoscopic montage of elegance where Bhutanese fashion and art merge as one. In this day and age, the user, beholder, collector, and heirloom historian are indeed fortunate to fully enjoy and appreciate this living tradition and heritage of art and craft.