Weaving 'bangdian,' the Tibetan aprons
Weaving with a flying shuttle, locals in a district of the city of Lhoka in Tibet have been making wool fabrics for over 1,000 years. Among the products is the famed "bangdian," which means apron in the Tibetan language.The town of Jiedexiu is known as the "hometown of bangdian."
The woolen threads need to be soaked, stirred and boiled in natural dyes for at least 30 minutes to change their color.They are then air-dried before they're ready for weaving.
Learning to weave since they were very young, women in the town can make colorful aprons and many other wool fabrics quickly, based on their experience creating the various patterns. There are 45 skilled local women working long-term in Gesang apron factory. Half of them are from impoverished families. The women can either weave in the factory or send their products here for sale after finishing them at home. Each worker can earn about 100 yuan (US $15) per day.
Bangdian weaving in Jiedexiu has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in China since 2006.The wool fabrics made here sell well across Tibet, and are also exported to Nepal and India.