Khawachen InnerAsia’s weaving and production center in Lhasa is launching a wonderful new project that is making all of us - in Tibet and the US - very excited. We feel the time has come to act on our long held dream of training a batch of Tibetan artisans, particularly some of our disabled youth, to lead the way in creating luxurious hand woven textiles from the softest and warmest cashmere fibers we are so richly endowed with in the Tibetan highland. The nomads of Tibet actually use the word Nor, or precious assets, when referring to their flocks of goats, sheep, and yaks, and Nor includes their fabulous “wool” fibers.
Our job at Khawachen begins by sharing our vision and dreams with our artisans. The next step is bringing together everything we will need to get the project going; the cashmere fiber, suitable looms for textile weaving, and a training program for the weavers that will transform our dreams into reality. Just like our hand knotted carpet collections that have been created at Khawachen for more than thirty years, our Nor textile pieces will be embroidered with subtle but distinctive auspicious motifs of Tibet and symbols of well being and protection. What could be warmer and more comforting than wrapping yourself in a hand woven Nor shawl?
I am also excited by the possibilities of combining other natural fibers like linen and silk with our Tibetan highland cashmere. I am sure the natural beauty of these fibers, blended together by the artistry of an artisan’s signature weave, will result in a stunning, one of a kind Nor fiber art piece that will be a prized addition to any textile collection.
In the meantime, I am gratified to draw upon the abundance of rich natural fibers from the Tibetan Highland to provide training and new areas of livelihood for our disabled youth.