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Sri Lanka can elevate its special handloom brands: Expert
02
Jul '14
Ms. Shellard & Mr. Egodage/c: news.lk
Ms. Shellard & Mr. Egodage/c: news.lk
Rather than moving into fast fashion handloom cycles, Sri Lanka can elevate its special handloom brands by building weaver competence and international promotion efforts, feels Jennifer Shellard, Visiting Lecturer, Woven Textile Department, University of Creative Arts, London.
 
Ms. Shellard was addressing a gathering of Sri Lankan handloom designers and experts at a session titled “Design Development for Sri Lanka’s Handlooms”, organized by the Export Development Board (EDB) in Colombo.
 
“Sri Lanka has been known for its handloom textiles and rather than moving into fast fashion handloom cycles, Sri Lanka can elevate its special handlooms brand by building competence and international promotion efforts,” said Ms. Shellard, whose expertise extends to use of research for designs and crafts, as well as challenging definitions and perceptions of hand-made textiles, particularly with regard to their presentation and context.
 
The handloom textiles is a high precision sector and it is precious in Sri Lanka branding, said the design expert, and added that handlooms are not the same as apparel sector, which is generally responsive to fast fashion cycles.
 
Unlike powerlooms, handlooms help in maintaining a country’s identity and help tourism. However, if Sri Lanka becomes a mass producer of handlooms then it may not retain the same premium cache it now has, Ms. Shellard said.
 
Addressing the forum, EDB Chairman Bandula Egodage said value addition is an essential factor and repeating the same designs will not help Sri Lanka in the long run.
 
In 2013, the top five buyers of Sri Lankan handlooms were Bangladesh, India, Turkey, Hong Kong, and the UAE. With US$ 1.64 million worth of purchases the US jumped to seventh largest importer of Sri Lankan handlooms from being at No. 15 in 2012.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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