Behind the scenes of 'Ideators' - episode 6:
Weaving diversity into tradition
Daniel loses his trail of
thoughts at the boardroom
Beeralu interwoven with
southern womenfolk’s life
Nimble fingers weave breath-taking patters to cover the designs
pinned to the Beeralu kotte (pillow). The spectacular, authentic Beeralu-based
products on display bring about the Southern flavour as they enthrall
Last week British Council's 'Ideators' reality television show took
its viewers to the heart of Dickwelle, where they were given a task
which combined traditions with modern designs. The task was set by
British Council's Young Fashion Entrepreneur of the year 2011, Kasuni
Ratnasuriya of KUR fame. The challenge was to incorporate Beeralu into a
A flourishing industry in the Southern part of Sri Lanka, Beeralu
lace making is also known as the art of pillow lace making. Old and
young women from all walks of life have now made it a part of their
life. Weaving stunning patterns with delicate thread was truly a sight
to behold as Daniel discovered.
"Watching the woman create such delicate lace was absolutely
fascinating. I only wish we had more time to talk to the woman there. It
was my first time seeing this lace being woven and what an experience it
was!" Nottingham Trent University student mused.
Lion Heart picked Luke as their leader while Reflex's team leader was
Speaking about his first opportunity to lead the team Adam revealed
that it gave the opportunity for other members of the team to see him in
action and how he deals with pressure.
Adam is overwhelmed by the hospitality at Dickwella Lace Centre
A lady explains the art of Beeralu lace weaving to Nimanthie and
The contestants in a jolly mood on their way to Dickwella
Reflex’s Indrajith and Dan speak to the ladies weaving Beeralu
Kasuni Ratnasuriya briefs the teams
"As team leader, the spotlight is well and truly on you! Another
difference is that the boardroom feels a lot more intense when you are
sat there as a leader because you automatically become more vulnerable.
You begin to reflect on the task and think about 'how could I have done
better in that situation?' or 'how could I have led the team better in
that instance?' However, I have no regrets in the way that I led the
team and I wish to thank the guys for their contribution," he quipped.
Explaining the concept behind the Beeralu laced shirt Adam said that
the members decided to take a different route.
"In previous episodes we were criticised for coming up with ideas
that were too 'out of the box'. With this task, we tried to tone down
our creativity to be sure that we hit the brief. We tried to go for a
safer option by developing a product that would fit comfortably with the
brand values, whilst complimenting the ladies range. As this was the
first garment to be produced in the men's range, I believed, along with
the rest of the team, that an everyday item such as a shirt or t-shirt
would be most suitable," the 21-year-old from Plymouth University told
the 'Daily News'.
He added that the plan would act as a low cost opportunity for KUR to
test the market with this item with the intention of introducing other
items at a later date.
"The shirt was smart, drew attention to the best features and
incorporated an ethical contribution to a training scheme for the
workers at the Beeralu Lace Centre. In this case, the consumers purchase
had a positive impact on a dying industry and gave extra value to the
shirt - something that was highlighted in the brief," he said.
Daniel says, "I think the hardest part was trying to create a
different type of style with the lace. It was also difficult to keep
within the time constraints. We only had two hours to come up with the
design and get the lace made. This was difficult especially when none of
us had worked with Beeralu lace before."
Menswear and Beeralu lace make a strange combination. However Lion
Heart's Nimanthie came up with the novel idea of incorporating the lace
into a tie!
"I do believe that the idea for a tie tipped the scale in our favour.
Anything else and it would have been tougher to pick a winner," her team
mate Lara opined.
Lara also got a shocking experience while embarking on the task when
a snake happened to stop by to view the 'Ideators' at work. Queried
about the incident, Lara broke into a fit of giggles.
"Ha, ha. I think I was walking out to get something and as soon as I
stepped outside I saw this long snake dash across really fast. I was
certain it was coming to eat me so I screamed! I REALLY hate snakes-
it's so amazing that an animal that has no legs can move so quickly,"
The designs were finally done and the teams were prepared for
Unfortunately Daniel lost his trail of thoughts in the board room and
had to pay the price once Lion Heart triumphed in a row.
Reflecting on the elimination Adam said, "I always struggle to
predict who will be eliminated. So Daniel going was another shock. He
did a great job throughout the task and in previous episodes. He
contributed some fantastic ideas, and was very outspoken - which is
something I admire, and can relate to."
Though they were declared winners the Lion Heart members were in for
a shock because they had to lose a member to balance the teams. Chief
Judge and British Council Country Director Tony Reilly picked Lara to
move over to team Reflex.
"The team felt a bit cheated because we won, but somehow lost at the
same time. It took me a while to adjust, I have to admit. I had the
feeling it would be myself or Nimanthie because there were no fashion
designers on the other team.
I wasn't really happy about moving over, but that's what keeps a
challenge a challenge. To be able to really enjoy another win, we all
had to be challenged. It was a curve ball we'd been expecting," the
student from the London College of France admitted.
Reflecting on his elimination a disappointed Daniel noted, "I have
always been a hard worker and I put 100 percent into anything I do. This
task was different to the others as not only was I doing research design
and making sure the woman knew what we were doing but also helping Adam
with the marketing and advertising. Nothing actually went wrong in the
task it was all to do with the presentation. Half way through I just
Luckily Alex stepped in for me but as soon as that happened I knew I
was going home."
However the good sport that he is, Daniel promised that there are
many more surprises in the coming weeks for 'Ideators' fans. Keep your
fingers crossed. Who will be eliminated next? The fun loving Udana, the
dynamic Suraaj, the gifted Lara or the charming Adam?
Catch 'Ideators' on Independence Television Network (ITN) every
Saturday at 9 pm.