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Shawl wins UNESCO handicrafts award
25
Dec '08
Karma Yangchen, a mother of three and owner of a handicraft shop in Bhutan, recently won the South Asia UNESCO award for excellence in handicrafts. Karma had submitted a shawl among thirteen other handicraft items of Bhutanese origin.

The award recognises quality products that combine innovation in design, beauty and traditional skills. A total of 167 entries were received from countries like India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal and were evaluated by an international panel of judges.

India won 27 awards, the highest number, followed by Pakistan with five, Sri Lanka three, Nepal two and Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan one each. The cotton shawl presented by Karma scored for carrying appeal, vibrant colour, beautiful motifs and good pricing, averred, the judges.

The shawl was also admired for its authenticity and quality by the jury and considered fit enough for marketability at international levels. Karma in the past has also designed uniforms for the national airline of Bhutan along with running the handicrafts store and also has learnt weaving.

Currently, she has a team of twelve weavers for whom, she now provides patterns and designs for the shawls they weave. The general consensus among the jury on Bhutanese handicraft products was that they excelled in quality, authenticity and techniques, but lacked in innovation, finishing and market appeal.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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