For centuries, craftsmen from Nepal’s eastern and western development regions have woven the unique, pure cotton cloth known as Dhaka. Still produced by handloom and using traditional designs, modern day Dhaka is used to create everything from saris, shirts and shawls to bed sheets, handkerchiefs and table mats. The colourful designs have become one of Nepal’s most recognizable handicrafts.
The distinctive style has become so popular that fabric shops are now littered with mass produced, printed copies of Dhaka design. But genuine Dhaka is woven by hand, with one weaver able to produce up to two meters of fabric in a day, depending on the design. Using pure cotton thread and a locally fabricated wooden handloom, weavers turn out an array of the geometrical designs in a range of colours, from the traditional reds and greens used to make topis, the Nepali men’s hat, to vibrant purples and pinks often found in women’s shawls and skirts and the more earthy tones adorning dining tables. While Dhaka is often sold as clothing, accessories, and as household items, it is also popular as lengths of material which can be used for saris and tailoring.Popular Dhaka clothing includes topis, sari, kurtha surawal, blouse.