Thank is a Silk painting with embroidery, usually showing a Buddhist god, famous scene, or a mandala. The thanka is very different than regular oil or acrylic painting. It is a piece of picture which is painted or embroidered, over which a fabric is attached, and then over which is laid a cover, usually silk. Generally thankas last for a very long tenure. It is delicate and hence, should be stored in dry places. Moisture is not at all good for it. Thanka is also known as scroll- painting.
There are different kinds of thanka employing various canvases. However, most are painted on cloth or paper. The white cloth is first mounted on a frame and water-based colloid chalk is applied to the surface. It is polished with talc when dried. The canvas is thus ready for painting. Apart from this, there are thanka which are webs of embroidery, woven silk, silk tapestry or appliqué. Embroidered thankas are done with multi-colored silk threads. Silk woven thanka take the warp of brocade as the base and applies the method of jacquard weaving with colored silk threads as the weft. With appliqué thanka, human figures, designs and patterns are cut out of colored satin and glued onto the canvas. The resulting work is also called “embossed embroidery.” Tapestry thanka are woven with the method of “complete warps and broken wefts: which calls for the application of the weft threads on the warp only where the picture or design needs it. The “hollowed out” work produces a three- dimensional effect. Tapestry thanka are thick, closely woven, delicately designed and gorgeously decorated with colored silk threads. There is yet another kind of thanka in which beautifully designed colored fabrics decorated with pearls and precious stones are attached to the fabric with gold thread thereby creating a resplendent and dazzling effect.