From Bhutan with Love - The Making of our Handwoven Pillows

May 15, 2022

From Bhutan with Love - The Making of our Handwoven Pillows

Delkhi - A New Throw Pillow Collection Whose Name Means Love and Peace 

Bhutan, a magical, mystical Buddhist kingdom set in the beautiful natural environment of the Himalayas is well known for promoting happiness and sustainability. In addition to spectacular architecture, wide and varied flora and fauna, Bhutan has a rich and unique culture in which textiles play an important role. Weaving is considered an art and traditional techniques which often involve using locally sourced materials as well as natural dyes are passed on from mother to daughter. In 2014 two sisters began working from home using their inherited knowledge to create weaves with different natural materials with the goal of using these skills to teach others and so to benefit the women in their community.


Using locally grown organic cotton blended with Eri silk (also known as peace or Ahimsa silk as it is processed without killing the silk worm)  the yarns for our decorative throw cushions are dyed using all natural locally grown ingredients cultivated in backyard gardens.





The colors extracted from onion skins, marigold flowers, walnut shells, madder root  and others are obtained by boiling the ingredients in a large vessel over an open fire until the desired color is achieved.





The hand spun prepared yarns are then soaked and stirred in the hot liquid until the desired shade is obtained. The quantities and timing require great skill, observation, patience and experience and  are all part of the carefully guarded knowledge which has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations.



Marigold flower dyed cotton yarns for pillows for artha collections
Basket full of natural dyed organic cotton to weave pillows for artha collections




Once dyed the yarns are washed and hung out to dry before the loom is prepared for weaving.



Hanging yarn out to dry before weaving throw pillows for artha collections



Our throw pillows are woven on what is known as a backstrap loom. It gets its name from the fact that the weaver sits in front of a vertical loom with a strap which goes around her back. The tension on the loom is provided by the weaver's moving back and forth as she passes the weft threads though the warp.



Backstrap weaver in front of the loom weaving throw cushions for artha collections
Handwoven fabric ready to be stitched into decorative throw pillows


The backstrap loom is one of the earliest looms known and was  developed for its small size and flexibility of set up. Traditionally set up in the home weaving on a backstrap loom gives the women the flexibility to balance their work with the responsibilities of a family. 

In 2017 the two sisters used the earnings from their hard work to open a small shop in Thimpu where they could weave and have a space to sell their designs to a growing number of interested buyers. This allowed them to train more women like themselves in the craft and they now work with 8 home based weavers as well as three communities which supply the raw materials they need for their products. The income the women earn helps to contribute to the family finances and in this way also gives them an equal say in family decisions giving them the confidence and independence to thrive.

This latest decorative cushion collection gets its name from the local language meaning for love and peace. The warm tones and quality all natural materials integrate easily into many different styles. Uplifting maker communities - products with a purpose.