Prince George and Princess Charlotte got souvenirs from Bhutan when their parents Prince William and Kate Middleton returned home from their royal visit of India and Bhutan. The little royals were gifted with a pair of colorful coats from Bhutanese royals King Jigme and his wife Queen Jetsun. The organic coats had traditional Bhutanese motifs and were hand-dyed.
King Jigme, 36, and Queen Jetsun, 25, ordered the coats for 2-year-old George and 11-month-old Charlotte from designer Chimmi Choden. One of the frontline designers of Bhutan, Chimmi knew that the jackets were gifts for the British royal kids. The designer, who will be showing in the city of Kolkata in India, said that the wool and silk-blend coats were hand-dyed and had traditional motifs that have been used by Bhutanese weavers for generations.
“I chose to experiment with a luxurious Merino wool and silk blend which is much softer and has a subtle, natural sheen. The yarn was hand-dyed using organic ingredients found locally in Bhutan,” said Chimmi, talking to People magazine. She added that walnut shells called ‘tago poko’ in Dzongkha were used to create the soft brown color.
For the pink color, instead of using the traditional yak wool, she used a natural color by boiling madder and lac (a scarlet resin secreted by the lac insect and harvested from an infested tree). The yellow color was achieved by using turmeric and the leaves of the Asiatic Sweet Leaf plant. The jackets featured traditional motifs like the "Dorji" and "Pigeon’s Eye."
The designer who has her boutique Chimmi House of Design in Thimphu said that the jackets were “entirely unique and were made exclusively for the royal order.” She added that such pieces have not been made, nor would be made in future as they were woven with hand-dyed yarn. The mother-of-one said the exclusivity of hand crafted products added to allure and beauty.
Talking about Kate Middleton opting to wear a kira-style skirt during her Bhutan visit, Chimmi said that the British royal wore the long skirt in her “own unique style and wore it beautifully.” The designer added that she made some dresses for the Duchess of Cambridge, but was unable to meet her. However, she was happy that she got an opportunity to design the jackets for her two kids.