Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mawongpa

(picture to the right from my personal collection)

I visited the training institute for thirteen crafts in the capital. I came across a tailoring group of trainees that called themselves 'Mawongpa' (meaning 'Future'). They had a Thai (or Vietnamese?) lady trainer who taught them fashion clothes designs, using a mixture of traditional handloom woven fabric and factory machine made fabric. They seemed to be getting pretty popular, with increasing orders from both domestic buyers and expatriates working in Bhutan. I had a fine silk handloom woven cream coloured fabric that I decided to give to this group to stitch a designer coat for me. I had already spent over Nu.2000 for the yarn and another Nu.1000 on weaving charge for two lengths of fabric. I gave one length of the fabric. I paid Nu.2000 for the stitching charge and Nu.25 for the Indian factory machine made cotton material for the inner lining. So, in total, the coat actually cost me Nu.3525. I haven't yet had the occassion to wear it. I was thinking it might look better on a foreigner (American, British, etc). So, if I were to sell it I would have to charge .... mmm.... The cost price works out to over US$ 75. Now, how much should my profit be? Gosh! I'm no good at all this. I'll need some advice and time to work it out. I hope some day I'll have my own collection and a boutique shop ..........In the meantime, I do hope some of the Mawongpa passouts have been able to start an enterprise of their own somewhere.

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