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