THE HANDLOOM INDUSTRY IN SRI LANKA
The legendary beginning of the Sri Lankan history also provides clues of a well-developed Sri Lankan weaving industry nearly three thousand years back, and even today Sri Lankan hand loom products portray their rich heritage and cultural diversity in their designs and technologies.
The Handloom Textile Industry is a highly labor intensive export-oriented rural based industry in Sri Lanka. The industry produces predominantly cotton and silk products, utilizing cotton and silk yarn. Generally, with low capital costs and running expenses, handloom is a household or cottage industry, where skilled hands create value added products.
After nearly 3000 years, the traditions of weaving and hand loom manufacturing still holds strong among the hand loom weavers of Sri Lanka, who still stand faithful to the age old designs of weaving that has been handed down through generations.
The industry has the flexibility to supply both in small quantities and in larger quantities as well as styles to fit individual tastes and requirements of different buyers from various cultures. There is immense potential for use of alternative raw materials, abundantly available in Sri Lanka.
Although the use of hand looms were strictly restricted to cotton handloom sarees and home linens among Sri Lankan consumers, a new generation of Sri Lankan designers are seeking to revive the face and future of Sri Lankan handloom industry by combining old designs with bold colors, textures and material.
With an increased demand for environmentally sustainable and handmade products made by Fair Trade labor Sri Lankan handloom industry holds a greater opportunity for global expansion.