Tibetan handicrafts


Ella's picture
Wed, 02/20/2013 - 14:51 -- Ella

The handicraft industry of Tibet has a long history. The Tibetan handicrafts are not only highly practical, but they also have great aesthetic value. Nowadays, more and more tourists in Tibet tend to lay eyes on these Tibetan favorites. The textiles, paintings and sculptures represent the highest achievements of Tibetan handicrafts.


Tibetan Carpets: Woven using a unique technique, these carpets are durable, comfortable, gorgeous and are especially pleasing because of their auspicious patterns. They can also be used as cushions, mattresses, tapestries and backrests. Tibetan carpets are considered one of the three most famous carpets in the world. Gyangtse County of Shigatse, known as 'Hometown of Rugs', is the most famous for Tibetan carpets.

Tibetan Woolen Cloths: The most famous Tibetan woolen cloths are made in Gyangtse, Dranang County of Shannan and Markham County of Chamdo, which have already had thousands of years' history. These wools are delicate, smooth, thick and waterproof, so they are often used as materials for the exotic and pretty Tibetan costumes, boots, hats, aprons and other things. The best aprons are from a town in Gonggar County, Shannan, which is not far from Gonggar Airport of Lhasa.

Tibetan Quilts: Also made of the local wools, Tibetan quilts are soft, delicate, warm and durable, and are good choices for the windy and chilly living conditions. They generally have a weight of 5 kg. (11 pounds) - 10 kg. (22 pounds). They are mainly made in Lhasa, Shigatse and Shannan, while the best is in Shannan

Tents: For those who prefer outdoor activities, a Tibetan tent is a good accompaniment. There are three options for you: well-knit and waterproof woolen tents, flowery canvas tents and common cloth tents.

Woolen handbags: They are made of wools and are very delicate and pretty with colorful decorations. It is a wise choice to buy one for carrying foods and some small tools!

Wooden Bowls: These are a favorite among all ethnic groups in Tibet. They often take along a bowl to fill with food and drinks  when going out, even when visiting another family. Made of various excellent woods, these bowls are not easy to break and very pretty due to their delicate sculptures. Some of them also have a silver cover, or are wrapped with pieces of silver plates in their brims. The wooden bowls of Menpa minorities and Purang County, Ngari are the most well-known.

In addition, other wooden sculptured furniture, like Tibetan cabinets and tables are also very exquisite.

Gold and Silver Wares: The manufacture of these gold and silver wares is the most complicated traditional handicraft in Tibet. They need to be carefully forged and then sculptured into various fine patterns. Tibetan knives and various ornaments like bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and headgears are the most popular souvenirs. The Tibetan knives are mainly made in Lhasa, Shigatse and Chamdo, of which Lhatse (Shigatse) is the most famous.

Horn and Bone Wares: Ox is a common and sacred animal in Tibet, which can be made into various artworks. Horn combs do not easily produce static when being used, and are said to be healthy for hair, brain and head. There are also many bone-sculptured wares like amulets, necklaces, bracelets, etc.

Masks: They are mainly used in the performances of Tibetan Opera, Chamdo Dance, and as a decoration hanging in the temples of Tibet. The sculptures include figures of deities, devils and animal totems. 

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