Starting point for each appliqué thangka is a line drawing. Pieces of fabric are than stitched together to obtain the different shapes of the image. The contours are defined by using horsetail cords which are created by wrapping coloured threads around single hairs from horses’ tails. This is a highly elaborate process but the resulting images are absolutely beautiful.
Naljorma Nyima says: “The traditional appliqué technique is a wonderful opportunity to appreciate the senses throughout the entire process – from choosing the fabrics to mounting the pieces together. And it is also a practice in passion and precision.”
In the Tibetan tradition appliqués are seen as even more precious than painted thangkas.