Tibet: innovation paves the way to prosperity

"The bag’s style has local ethnic flavor and is fashionable; I want to buy one.” One tourist from Sichuan said at the Tibet Dranang Pulu Culture Festival.  

Pulu is a traditional handmade woolen textile with a long history in Tibet. It is mainly used to make ethnic clothing, shoes, hats, blankets and others. Dranang County, Shannan City, locals improve the crafts process by hands by taking modern science and technology and enhance the quality and sales of the products.  

In the past the production process was relatively backwards. Some enterprises could only produce Pulu bags by hands, thus neither the yield nor quality was good.    

"After more than three months of experiments, we improved the traditional technology production process of Pulu, from design to assembling the parts,” said Tsering Chodrak, head of an company engaged in ethnic culture products development in Dranang.   

After technological improvements, more than ten kinds of products based on market needs, by local Pulu enterprises, have come out in succession, including leather handbags, satchels and others. “Improvements in technology and innovation have boosted the sales remarkably, with the annual sales of Pulu leather bags increasing from 50,000 yuan to 800,000 yuan and providing employment for more than 50 local people.” said Tsering Chodrak.    

Villagers have established a Pulu Processing Cooperative, in Shi Gong village known as “the first Pulu village”, Dranang County. “The cooperative provides ways to increase income for more than 30 farmers during slack season with the annual increase income of thousands yuan per capita. We also make directional procurement of wool off from the villagers, allowing them to increase income and get rich without leaving home.” Kunsang Norbu, head of the cooperative said.