Sikkim youth give traditional Angora Shawls a new look

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Gangtok, Aug.4 (ANI): The Directorate of Handicrafts and handloom, originally established to preserve traditional Arts and Crafts and providing training to local youth, is now popularising the 'Angora shawl'.

New elements and techniques have been added to the traditional Buddhist designs by the State handloom in Sikkim in the making of 'Angora shawls' to make it more popular.

Several local girls, who were proficient in the craft, were recently sent to Himachal Pradesh to learn new techniques. These girls have acquired new skills. They will be able to meet requirements of the market by fusing traditional and modern elements.

"We have sent some girls from Sikkim to Kullu, Himachal Pradesh for training. They learn the graphs from there and they've come here to execute the motifs and designs that they've learned. We also do embroidery and its in good demand in the market," said Chozang Lepcha, Deputy Director at the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom in Sikkim

"There are three castes in Sikkim such as the Bhutia, Lepcha and Nepali. According to their designs we make the shawls. Some are black and white in color. We have to make our own colour combination, and it looks nice," said Pushpa Chettri, a worker.

The department has also provided modern IT facilities under which special designing programmes like CAD (Computer Aided Design) have been included for creative new designs using modern techniques.

With 32 centres across the State, the handloom department intends to preserve the traditional arts and crafts of the state while training and employing local youth. By Tashi Pradhan (ANI)

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