Framing your Thangka
Silk brocading is a process of framing a Thangka in traditional
Tibetan style. The frame is made of beautiful silk fabric having
rich colors and patterns. Brocade can be added to any Thangka
painting upon request. The diagram to the right (click the image
for a larger view) shows the different components of a typical
The silk fabric protects the edges of the Thangka, and also makes it
easier to hang. A thin silk cover protects the painting when rolled,
and may be gathered up to display the painting when hung on the
wall. It is generally thought that silk brocade renders a Thangka
more attractive and more religious.
The technique of silk brocading was first developed around the
9th century AD as a way to protect paintings during transport
across the treacherous Himalayan mountains. Nepalese artists,
seeking to meet the exploding demand for Buddhist art in Tibet,
developed Thangka techniques so that paintings could be easily
rolled and carried in large numbers. Due to these clever techniques,
Buddhists throughout the Himalayan region were able
to obtain beautiful supports for their practice.
The price for brocading standard-size Thangkas typically ranges from
$10 to $50. Larger paintings take longer to sew and require
more silk fabric, thus the framing costs are a bit higher.
We have included the appropriate price for brocading each
of our Thangkas in the individual eBay listings. Please look for
Brocade Cost in the table at the top of each listing.
In addition, please note that the shipping cost will increase
due to the added weight of the brocade fabric and the doweling.
The appropriate cost for shipping the Thangka with brocade can
be calculated by using the link given in each eBay listing. Look for
Shipping Cost with Brocade in the table at the top of
Framing the Thangka is a laborious process and it requires great skill
to end up with a straight-hanging piece of art. Further, a Thangka
may be easily damaged during the brocading process and the silk fabric
is expensive. Thus, all of our brocading work is performed by a
specialized tailor with many years of brocading experience. We guarantee
that your frame will look stunning and the work is usually completed
within one to two business days (very large Thangkas may take a bit longer).
Requesting Silk Brocade
To add brocade to your Thangka painting, simply notify us when you
place your order and we will be happy to assist you. You can
include a note with your order, or send us a message through eBay,
and we can include the appropriate amount in the PayPal transaction.
Please also let us know the fabric pattern you prefer.
If you choose to have your thangka brocaded, we will send you a
photo of the finished painting before shipping.
We will not dispatch your order until we have received your
confirmation that you are satisfied with the brocade work.
How to Fold Your Thangka Cover
In the below, we show you step-by-step how to put the thangka's
cover up and drape it beautifully for hanging and display.
Click on any image for a larger view.
The final result - The thangka with the cover up for hanging and display.
Step 1 - The thangka comes with the cover down for safe storing and transport.
Step 2 - Grasp the silk cover with both hands and hold it straight and flat,
allowing the ribbons to fall to each side.
Step 3 - Carefully fold the bottom 1 - 2 inches of fabric up and
toward you, holding the cover straight.
Step 4 - Tuck the folded fabric behind the cover, and now fold upward
on the underside of the cover.
Step 5 - Continue to alternate folding the cover forward and back, like
you are creating a fan with the fabric.
Step 6 - Continue folding all the way up until the top of the painting
Step 7 - Straighten the folded fabric firmly against the painting.
Step 8 - Concentrate on holding the very center of the folded fabric,
while noting the red string above you that runs between the two ribbons, right
below the upper hanging dowel.
Step 9 - Tuck the center of the folded fabric up underneath the
Step 10 - Pull the fabric through and allow it to fall naturally.
Step 11 - Drape the fabric elegantly while hiding the red string from view.
The final result - Your thangka is now ready for display.