Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Center

At the southern end of Thimphu's town center, Bhutan's finest fabrics are produced in a simple one-story workshop with unfinished cement floors. The sunlight streaming in illuminates complex masses of glossy silk threads that weavers expertly work into the intricate kushüthara patterns seen in the most expensive kira.

Eastern Bhutan is home to country's most skilled weavers and the best wild silk, and many of the women — the factory strives to employ divorcees and single mothers — travel here to weave after the harvest in the east.

The Bhutanese royal family sources much of the fabric for their ceremonial kiras and ghos from Gagyel Lhundrup, and the factory produced the wedding clothes worn by Their Majesties King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema to their sumptuous wedding in October 2011. In addition to seeing the weavers at work, the center is an excellent place to buy fabric souvenirs, from scarves to kira.