Jigmat Couture is a sustainable and ethical business model as well as a healthy social mission for keeping the rich Ladakhi culture by imparting necessary training to people for an authentic image of Ladakhi art to behold in the future. In order to keep centuries old Ladakhi art and crafts alive, we felt the need to come up with a characteristic place where one can simultaneously study, experience, apprenticeship and receive training in traditional textile art forms. Besides, a portion of our profit goes into various projects like (art and artisan) skill development workshops, research projects and now we are excited to open the first ever textile museum in this part of Himalaya.
Our basic objective behind this project is to preserve the rich Ladakhi art, craft and culture, this not only benefit Ladakhi people, but for everyone who wish to practice traditional arts. Eventually we aim to pass on in-depth knowledge and better understanding of art and appreciation of the profound culture. When you step into our premises you will encounter an unabridged atmosphere of art and craft. On one side of the museum, you will find a heritage house which once used as a caravan sarai during the silk route trade and now this heritage house is being used as a private art gallery. Whereas the newly built textile museum is entirely constructed on traditional style architecture using local materials. We have incorporated all the important elements of a Ladakhi architecture such as Rabsal, Chong-tsay, Sum-stig, Yabs, Nima-lagang and so on in the building. Another notable feature is the details in wood carvings which have mostly textile motifs. The building has three levels, the first level is the museum itself, second level houses Jigmat Couture studio and the third level has workshop for traditional spinning, weaving and dying. This level also accommodates decent number of books and resources in its library.
The museum displays wide variety of costumes and textiles either woven in Ladakh or has reached Ladakh through trade routes, donned by people in everyday life or on occasions and celebrations. The textile collection and ancient artifacts on display will provide all visitors and Ladakhi’s in particular an opportunity to unravel the rich cultural traditions of Ladakh. The museum will provide a strong platform for art students and all those who have keen interest in exploring the rich textile art, cultural heritage and artistic wonder of this remarkable land.
In recent years Ladakhi textiles have created considerable interest to students and professionals, yet no venues existed to study and explore craft in depth. More importantly the local artisans themselves had no place to view their ancestral art and to consider the creative possibilities. Though the museum primarily focuses on textile art yet our exhibits include great variety of ancient articles for daily use along with traditional costumes, which will certainly leave you with admiration for the great artistic connotations of Ladakhi ancestors. A collection of Ladakhi royal and noble costumes, costumes from remote regions, early leather robes to ancient artifacts altogether not only displays exquisite workmanship but also shows functionality in perfect innovations. All in all they embody diligence, intelligence and persistent pursuits for beauty and creativity. In other words each tool of production or every article for daily use created by Ladakhi people over successive generations represents their workmanship as well as their wisdom.
Since the museum is an avant-garde brainchild of Jigmat Couture we aim to cover every aspect of traditional art under one roof, accompanied by in-house library and resource centre accommodating every collection of Jigmat Couture’s research and development samples. As a part of ongoing art initiative the museum wholeheartedly welcomes school children and art lovers for various workshops thereby aspiring to develop interest in textile art.