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Mapping Chinese Modernization: Ancient Tibetan craft steps on to the world stage

Global Stringer


Sitting at an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters above sea level, Gyangze County, Shigatse City in southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region has a tradition of weaving pulu. Pulu is a Tibetan traditional woolen fabric and the primary material Tibetans use to make robes, boots, hats and other items. It's also one of the most common textiles with distinctive ethnic characteristics on the snowy plateau.

In February 2023, an aid group from Shanghai launched a collaborative effort to help bolster the pulu weaving industry. While maintaining traditional Tibetan elements, it integrated modern fashion designs to produce scarves, shawls and other daily necessities, which were welcomed by consumers, solving the local employment problem and bringing traditional Tibetan handicrafts to the world.

Drolma, a young woman from Shigatse, takes us to a local pulu workshop to experience the unique beauty of pulu and see firsthand the charm and innovation of the pulu industry.

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