You don’t have to be in Nepal for long before you’ve become acquainted with beautiful topi hats the village men wear. Look closer and you’ll notice that in certain parts of the country the women are wearing the same fabric for their blouses, the children for their suits, and it is strewn throughout the homes. This traditional fabric, known as dhaka, is a trademark of Nepal.
Dhaka comes in a wide variety of fibers, designs, and colors, but it all has a certain geometric aspect and the colors always seem somewhat subdued. A closer look reveals that this subdued color comes from the warp running over the inserted threads responsible for the fabric’s design. Beautiful and elegant, dhaka is another artistic tradition threatened by the increased import of cheaper substitutes from abroad.