Outside Zungney’s Yathra Weaving Center at the eastern end of Bumthang’s beautiful Chumey Valley, strips of traditional woolen yathra hang on racks in the sunshine. Inside, a handful of women sit at backstrap looms, picking out intricate patterns in colored wool as they weave with nimble fingers. Traditionally, each home in the Chumey Valley had its own loom and girls learned to weave at a young age.
These weavers deftly spin the yathra’s geometric designs in yak and sheep wool. The thick, distinctive fabric is perfect to withstand the rigors of a Bumthang winter and is widely loved throughout Bhutan.