Weaving a new path

Handloom Weavers, Jaffna

This enthusiastic group of industrious women is based in Jaffna. They consist of a group of young single mothers who married young men in the community to help them evade forced conscription by the LTTE during the civil war. As the war came to an end, the young men chose to follow their ambitions and a different life, leaving behind their children and wives. Not to be defined by the short straw they drew, these mother's have carved their own path and soldiered on with optimism and determination.

The fabrics used in their first collections were woven by the women as sample and practice fabrics. The fabrics were used to create small items such as table mats, tourist bags, travel kits, and flamboyant packaging from handloom off cuts.

Handloom Weavers, Kunchukulam

The group in Kunchukulam is located in a particularly remote village with very limited access to sales avenues. This group will come on-board to supplement handloom production by the group in Jaffna, and work towards creating their own distinct collection and brand.

Isle of Artisans (IoA) is working with both groups to create a range of modern home ware, fashion, and clothing products that incorporate traditional weave patterns, uncommon in the current handloom market, providing a competitive edge and distinct product line. The intricate and complex patterns and origins are specific to regions in Sri Lanka, and IoA hopes to revive and preserve these exquisite designs through our handloom projects.

Handloom Weavers, Seeduwa

Vibrant, tropical-coloured block handloom fabrics are sourced by Isle of ARTisans from a group of visually impaired weavers based in Seeduwa. The group has been trained to undertake specific patterns by counting the threads in the weave. Unfortunately, we do not know the origin of the group, or who trained them in this manner to credit them for their remarkable work. The distribution of the fabric is undertaken by differently-abled members that extend the core weaving group.

The large floor cushions and inner pillows pictured here were sewn by a lady in her spare time to supplement her household income. The cushion pillows are stuffed with polyester fiber (made from recycled plastics).

This is a fantastic example of how a collaboration of skills works towards creating a delightful and marketable product, and the financial independence and economic empowerment of individuals and communities. The range of products made by incorporating fabrics produced by this group will be expanded on.

Isle of ARTisans will assist these groups with creating their own enterprises with distinct products. Following an interest by a chain of small hotels and boutique stores to stock socially-conscious handloom products, we are keen to move forward swiftly with the groups and connect them to a network of buyers who will place regular orders and increase their earning potential. Shop all..

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