Transcending the Kathmandu Valley

Redevelopment and reïnvention of Nepali-Tibetan Carpetry as a way forward.

The production of carpets in Kathmandu has had a transformative effect on both the Tibetan refugee population and the native Nepali people. It is an industry which during its ascent, golden years, and decline – in volume – provided much needed foreign exchange for a country dependent upon such transactions. It created wealth both in Nepal and abroad, and it has undoubtably contributed to an increased standard of living in the country of Nepal. Likewise, carpetry in Nepal has transcended its ethnographic origins in Tibetan culture and traditions, merging harmoniously with the people of Nepal, and the demands of Western consumers upon which the commercialized trade of today depends.

Read more
A sample of Nepali-Tibetan weaving crafted by Silk Road Rug Industries utilizing the time honoured 'Wangden' technique indigenous to the like-named valley in Tibet, China. Historically prized by for its uniqueness the technique has yet to attract widespread attraction amongst modern carpet makers. | Photograph by The Ruggist.

What’s New? | Wangden

A revival of the time honoured Tibetan weaving technique, Wangden.

In an age of limitless custom handmade rug and carpet options, why does the instinctive question, ‘What is new?’ persist in our lexicon? Moreover, why are we so inarticulate? We ask for new, when what we really want is something beautiful and eye catching and well made; the ‘newness’ of wares in the handmade rug industry being a somewhat laughable concept in itself. So while this carpet is newly made, the technique is actually quite time honoured dating to long before the annexation of Tibet by China and the subsequent growth of carpet production in Nepal. It is a Wangden carpet and it is distinctive because of its warp-faced back, supple hand and handle, and in the case of this piece, luxuriously plush pile.

Read more