Handicraft and handloom in Batticaloa
Handycraft and handloom in Batticaloa district is a prominent industry among vulnerable and single headed woman households. You could widely find locally made products at gift shops around Batticaloa town. Shops and sales centers also exist exclusively to sell Handicraft and handloom products.
One such handicrafts center is located in the center of Batticaloa town. Variety attractive and colorful souvenir items such as traditional masks, cane, pan and Palmyra products, wall hangers, paintings, leather items, hand bags, shoes could be purchased here. Traditional products are made by families who live under difficult conditions and by selling their products through this Sales Centre these families earn money to meet their needs.
Handloom Products are hand woven as the name suggests using quite complex looking wooden looms. Unlike knitting, weaving is a way of fabric production in which two separate sets of colorful threads are interwoven to form the cloth. Even though the industry was threatened in the recent past due to the introduction of readymade garments, handloom products are still popular among locals. As a labor intensive cottage industry it has provided employment opportunities for around one hundred households of Batticaloa District. Twenty five production centers have been established across the District and the products are sold through this sales center. There is a production center close to Batticaloa town at Kallady, if you are interested to visit one.
Eastern Province has been traditionally famous for handlooms & textiles and has a centuries old history. Townships like Maruthamunai (Kalmunai) and Kattankudy (Batticaloa) in the region have been pioneers in the manufacture of handloom and the tradition of handloom weaving has been brought down from generation to generation. It is believed that the handloom industry in this region originated as far back as the 18th century and that people here produced handloom garments for the Kandian nobles.
Despite various challenges, eastern handlooms continue to command buyer appeal and have a good demand not only in the local markets, but also in foreign markets. Handloom sector is a livelihood mean for unemployed women, men and the entrepreneurial youth in the region. If you visit Maruthamunai or Kathankudy, you can observe that handloom industry has become a popular cottage industry there and provides livelihoods to a considerable number of people. You can also witness the “division of work” and “job specialization”, the two key concepts in Economics is applied here in the industry. Some people do handloom weaving as full time job while some others are doing it as part-time job. The industry is labour intensive and consumes less electricity and utilities while generating higher employment. The tools & machineries required for this industry are also locally made, while the main input, the thread is imported.
Explore Handloom Industry!! Visit Eastern Sri Lanka!