Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans
Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the incredible collections at The Craft Gallery in Thimphu, Bhutan are well worth a visit.
The Gyalyum Charitable Trust under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck was established on January 12th, 2016 and the Craft Gallery is one of the chapters under it.
“Our Royal Patron and President, Her Majesty the Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck prioritizes the preservation and promotion of Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage. Thus, we encourage the development of Bhutan’s traditional handicrafts, and the use of textiles that are at the verge of extinction in an attempt to revive the use of the textile,” said Ms Legzem Thuji Yangden, Communications Officer, Gyalyum Charitable Trust
Located in the heart of Thimphu town, The Craft Gallery has the finest samples of Bhutanese craftsmanship products available for purchase. Textiles, tote bags, ceramic products, masks, wood carvings, jewelries, books, scarfs/shawls, bio products, traditional paper products, embroidery products and incense stick and cleaning products are put on one of a kind display that educate and inspire.
From the outside, the building of the Craft Gallery is a simple white washed architectural structure. The colorfully engraved roof and door gives a glimpse of the world of art within. A step inside and on your left you will see a shelf of Bhutanese-textile-patterned bags, purses and laptop bags made by women from RENEW. Laid on the wooden table in front are a beautiful assortment of essential oil handcream & lipbalm from Mudra.
RENEW and Mudra Products
The shelf next has a selection of Bhutan Natural products. Packaged in eye-catching designs, pure honey to healing bath salt to lemon grass are all gift ready. Intricately designed ceramic mugs and tea pots for an elegant switch to your daily kitchenware are available for purchase as well.
Bhutan Natural products
Ceramic mugs and teapots
Next to the reception desk, various books on Bhutan will be waving their pages at you. Pretty, pastel colored handmade paper diaries from Jungshi Handmade Paper Factory are on display for those who prefer to scribble notes the old fashioned way.
Books on Bhutan and handmade paper books
The first floor of the gallery has fashionable apparels from the local designers. You can find western wear made from Bhutanese textiles from CDK to Bhutanese national dresses. A model Dzong sits beautifully in the corner taking you back to mediaeval times. Wooden masks and bowls in various sizes for decorative pieces are put on show.
A model of the dzong, ancient fortress
The products are by 15 well-established artisans including other organizations and large-scale manufacturers that the Craft Gallery works with, 42 young upcoming entrepreneurs and designs of The Craft Gallery itself. The artisans who own home-based businesses do not have a proper outlet to market their products. The space offered at the gallery immensely benefits the artisans to both market and sell their products. The platform has been helping the new and upcoming designers to set off their careers and gain recognition among the locals and tourists by not only displaying their products at the gallery but also nominating one artisan each year to participate in the Thai Silk Event in Thailand.
As of now, the Craft Gallery does not have an online shopping platform. However, an international retail company based in Singapore helps support the marketing and sale of their products under the brand name “Bhutan Crafts” (an online platform or shopping site that sells some of their products & deliver the products all over the world).
If you’re in Bhutan, the gallery is open Monday to Friday at the following timing: Summer Timing (March – October): Monday-Friday | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Winter Timing (November – February): Monday-Friday |10:00 AM - 5:00 PM