“Ze Tier, or Tsethang wool serge, is a handmade textile art based on Tibetan Pulu, in which the warp and woof are gradually changed from coarse to fine and the texture from thick to thin. It was very popular during the fifth Dalai Lama period and became a special tribute fabric Tibetan monks and prominent officials used to make clothes”, said Pasang. “Today, a tailor-made Tibetan costume made from ‘Ze Tier’ white cashmere sells for 13,000 yuan and a scarf for 1,300 yuan.” Through self-financing, in 2008 Pasang set up an ethnic serge hand-weaving cooperative in Nedong County, Lhoka Prefecture.
Through help from relevant government departments, he obsessively embarked on a path to rescue the development of “Ze Tier”. From the cycle of choosing, weaving and processing the fine wool, to passing on the weaving skills to younger students; from the 42 poor students initially enrolled to the 72 permanent staff farmer contractors across three counties, this thousand-year-old serge craft is once again bursting with life. Apart from inheriting and carrying forward an outstanding ethnic cultural heritage, this small grassroots cooperative is also taking on the burden of driving the local people out of poverty. Disabled, unemployed youth, housewives and poor households – there are many like Dawa Tashi at this cooperative. They have not only mastered a skill, but also have broken out of poverty. According to Pasang, since establishment of the cooperative, they have directly found employment for 136 people and indirectly found employment for 322 people in extended industries.