The Weaving School trains students in traditional weaving, the art of yarn dyeing, contemporary skills related to design and color combinations, and also basics on business and book-keeping skills. As of June 2016, eleven batches comprising of more than 200 trainees have completed their training from the school.
Each training spans over a period of three months and the trainees are taught plain cotton and silk weaves, yathra weaves, weaves with simple patterns and intricate patterns depending on their existing skills levels. The beginners usually start with plain cotton weaves and gradually learn how to weave simple patterns and then proceed to silk yarn and intricate patterns.
The RTA include a state of art museum to display its collection of artifacts to further the understanding of Bhutan’s rich textile traditions and way of life. The Museum consists of two galleries: The upper gallery which has a permanent display of the various types of textile weaves in the country and the lower gallery that showcases temporary exhibitions on special themes.
The following exhibitions have been developed and exhibited since the inauguration of the museum in June 2013:
- Thagzo: The Textile Weaves of Bhutan – Permanent Exhibition in the Upper Gallery of the Textile Museum since June 2013.
- Royal Collection – June 2013 – May 2015
- A Tribute to Drugyal Zhipa – June 2015- June 2016
The RTA has opened an additional gallery in the Weaving and Conservation Building where short term exhibitions are organized. These exhibitions are not necessarily textile related.
- In the Service of our Kings – September –October 2015
- Czech Castle Exhibition – February to March 2014
- “Faces” Exhibition – August –September 2015
- Paintings by Olaf Van Cleef – Art Exhibition, October – November 2015
The RTA has also held exhibitions in Europe:
- Augsburg German – November 2010 – March 2011
- Bhutan – Land Close to Heaven – Exhibition in Prague, Czech Republic, March – September 2015
The RTA is one of the first institutions in the country practicing and imparting internationally accepted methods and techniques of conservation and preservation of the priceless textiles and other artifacts. The conservation centre has not only been responsible for the preservation and conservation of our artifacts but also provided our service to restore many pieces from several Dzongs and monasteries in Bhutan.
As of now the conservation centre at the Royal Textile Academy is focused primarily on textiles. However, with our growing collections that includes not only textiles but metals, wood works, paintings, etc. our conservation department will expand to include these art works and artifacts as well.