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Textile development in the East

Senaka de Silva guides local weavers:

Designer Senaka de Silva in association with Vinitha Seneviratne of the Ministry of Textile Industry Development conducted a 5-day workshop on Colour and Design Training Program for Maradamune weavers. Maradamune In the Ampara district of Kalmunai A.G.A. Division, Weaving is a way of life.

Over 700 weavers earn a living by producing hand woven fabrics as a livelihood.

With a 100 year history of Handloom weaving, most of the weavers being male, the quality of weaving has been of a very high standard over the years. Unfortunately due to financial constraints most of the weavers only earn a wage for their labour. Only about 200 owners run small businesses.

Ravaged by the decades of civil war and devastated by the 2004 Tsunami, Maradamune being the worst affected village, had the highest death toll in the island. Struggling to revive their livelihood, the Maradamune weavers have just managed to set up their weaving centres with bare minimum comforts.

To help this industry Sewa Lanka Foundation in Association with Vinitha Seneviratne of the Ministry of Textile Industry development invited Textile, Craft and Fashion Designer Senaka de Silva to hold a 5-day workshop on Colour and Design.

The Maradamune weaver were given a training in Colour Theory, the introduction of the colour wheel and complimentary colour co-ordination, introduction of colour blankets, and visual aid warp designing. Senaka de Silva has been in the Textile design Profession for over 35 years in Sri Lanka, and has worked as a Consultant Designer to the Textile Ministry.

At the workshop...

Over the years Senaka has held similar workshops in all provinces guiding local weavers in colour and design and helped to display many yearly exhibitions for the Ministry.

Senaka de Silva

The weavers received valuable information on the market needs and tips on colour and Design for Fashion and export markets. Senaka de Silva said “It was for me such a wonderful experience to be able to share my knowledge and expertise with these expert master weavers and within those 5 days we wove some lovely fabrics.

Each person was given to do a sarong, design on paper and taught how to achieve maximum results visually using limited colours”. Saree designs and shawl concepts were also a highlight. “We are trying to give them maximum exposure in Colombo by trying to hold an exhibition where we would introduce them to local and foreign buyers.”

The workshop was attended by 30 weavers and two future workshops have been planned to train 6o more weavers.


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