Craft industries are in the middle of a reawakening given the increased hyper-localised trends in many parts of the world. Craft has a strong sense of reconnecting one’s life with their traditions. It also allows innovation while preserving the traditional identities. Craft industries can be an asset to the economy of countries particularly of which are prioritising localism. In Sri Lanka there are a variety of traditional craft-based industries having the potential to benefit the economy of the country largely, however, are functioning alone within their own spheres and parameters making it less competitive within the global market. ‘Craft get-together’ is an ongoing project that focuses on the traditional craft sectors in the country, chiefly centring around Handloom textile and investigating the potentials of co-collaborations between them.
In this practice-led study, we discuss the new product development approaches in Handloom textiles mainly investigating the material, tools and techniques in other core crafts industries such as brass work, hemp, jewellery, and wood carvings with the aim of diversifying the extent of which the Handloom textile can be used in fashion eventually.
This project primarily benefits the craft sector of the country as the integration of the processes and techniques of different craft industries will inevitably create unforeseen opportunities for new product development in the Handloom industry as well as in other craft industries.
In a globalised and modernised world, “craft” will always be a key that will open doors to cultural identity and tradition. In a nutshell, this project- deviating from the conservative outlook -is an attempt to look at the Handloom industry through the lens of different other crafts in Sri Lanka. Team headed by Dr Gopura together with Dr Wickramasinghe is conducting this study.