Impact and adoption¶
Our next steps are to connect with companies and end-users who can benefit from our assistive accessories for the traditional backstrap loom, "Gawa Loom Accessories".
We would like to establish the Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super FabLab as the central coordinator between the marketplace and the design and fabrication of these innovative devices, fostering a collaborative ecosystem that preserves cultural heritage while enhancing the weaving experience.
“...cultural heritage can be viewed as a necessary resource to fuel the development of cultural industries. Significantly, when seen through this paradigm, cultural heritage conservation is no longer attributed as a ‘cost’ but a self-funding asset.”
“The government document––Bhutan 2020: A Vision for Peace, Prosperity and Happiness–outlines the importance of culture in the context of Bhutan’s development agenda.”
“In Bhutan, the hand-woven textile sector is one of the strongest pillars of this industry. In 2011, weavers in Bhutan generated an estimated income of Nu. 149.88 million (approximately US$2.2m) from selling traditional products, mostly traded from weavers’ homes.”
Joseph Lo, DrukJournal.bt
Possible Demographic Characteristics of Typical Bhutanese Weavers:¶
- Age: Typically older, with many weavers being above the age of 50.
- Gender: Predominantly female, as traditional weaving in Bhutan is often passed down through generations of women.
- Location: Mostly rural communities and smaller towns, where the weaving tradition is deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of Bhutan.
- Ethnicity: Belonging to various ethnic groups in Bhutan, each carrying unique weaving styles and patterns tied to their heritage.
- Education: Basic education levels, with most weavers having acquired skills through informal training and family traditions.
- Cultural Significance: Demonstrates a deep sense of cultural pride and identity, viewing weaving as an essential aspect of Bhutanese heritage.
- Economic Contribution: Plays a significant role in sustaining the cottage industry and rural economy of Bhutan through traditional weaving practices.
- Artistic Skill: Exhibits remarkable artistic skills, with a keen eye for patterns and color combinations in creating intricate textiles.
- Dedication: Possesses unwavering dedication to the craft, investing hours of meticulous work to create traditional textiles reflective of Bhutan's rich cultural heritage.
- Expertise: Skilled artisans specializing in working with wood, offering a high level of craftsmanship to create assistive accessories for traditional backstrap looms.
- Artisanal Touch: Independent carpenters bring a personal touch to each piece, ensuring tailor-made and ergonomic designs that resonate with the weavers' needs.
- Collaborative Endeavor: Partnering with individual carpenters or small woodworking businesses fosters a sense of community engagement and support for local artisans, while enabling the distribution of Gawa Loom devices to a wider audience of weavers.
Loom Accessories Shops:¶
- Specialization: Loom accessories shops offer a diverse range of tools and materials necessary for weaving, making them a natural fit for distributing assistive accessories.
- Target Audience: These shops cater to both professional weavers and hobbyists, providing an ideal platform to showcase and promote the innovative Gawa Loom devices.
- Promotional Opportunities: Collaborating with these shops can lead to increased visibility and accessibility of the products within the weaving community.
- Role: Established weaving centers, like the Green Weaving Center, act as influential cultural hubs and training grounds for weavers in Bhutan.
- Advocacy and Adoption: Partnering with these centers can facilitate the adoption and widespread use of assistive devices among weavers, as they play an instrumental role in promoting weaving traditions.
- Collaborative Workshops: Organizing workshops in conjunction with weaving centers offers an avenue to demonstrate the value and benefits of the Gawa Loom devices to a broader audience.
- Prestige: Institutions like the Royal Textile Academy hold significant cultural authority and are esteemed for preserving and promoting Bhutanese textile heritage.
- Educational Outreach: Collaborating with such institutions can lead to educational programs, workshops, and exhibitions that showcase the Gawa Loom's potential to both local and international audiences.
- Validation and Endorsement: Partnering with reputable institutions bolsters the credibility and rec