Dharmapala Thangka CentreSchool of Thangka Painting

Handling of Thangka Covers

Thanka paintings are covered by a gossamer thin sheet of yellow silk (Tib.: zhal-khebs) that protects it from dust and from the smoke of the butter lamps in Tibetan monasteries. They also have two silk ribbons that traditionally are used to tie the rolled scroll.



To display the Thanka the protective covering is gathered at the top and held with one of the two strings there, and the first of the two ribbons is placed in front of the painting. This is done according to the following four steps:

First Step

Missing Brocade

Starting at the bottom and continuing to the top, fold the cover in a zigzag pattern (/\/\/\/\) two/three finger-width parts.

Second Step

Brocade Cover

Be sure the second string is in front of the silk cover.

Third Step<

Pull the middle third of the folded cov

Fourth Step

Brocade Cover

Pull this gathered cover down several inches in front of the string, so that the single folds are visible. Arrange the silk to form an attractive pattern of folds. Place the two ribbons infront.


Brocade Cover

Finished draped thangka