Shilpa Kathaa – The Story of Our Crafts

The art of weaving ‘paduru’ goes back a few years as Sri Lanka embraced this unique craft and instilled into our heritage, influencing communities and enriching our culture. However, this craft finds itself lost among new mediums and cultures. In order to re-instil and further augment this distinct craft, an exhibition arises; to educate and nurture the art of weaving, Selyn, Sri Lanka’s only fair-trade guaranteed handloom company and the National Crafts Council of Sri Lanka have joined forces to protect and preserve the rich culture of Sri Lanka’s crafts with the launch of Shilpa Kathaa – The Story of Our Crafts. The inaugural exhibition will be held from the 8th to 10th November at the Selyn Flagship Store in Colombo 05 and feature the rich weaving techniques of Sri Lanka's traditional woven mats (Paduru).

The Shilpa Kathaa series hopes to provide a platform on which the traditions of Sri Lanka’s rich craft culture can be showcased. The series will focus on featuring the “endangered” crafts in the country, one at a time, in order to educate the public on the rich heritage of crafts in Sri Lanka and to bring its rightful value back to the craft and its artisans. During the exhibition, artisans will offer two master classes on weaving paduru.

This initiative is the brainchild of Selyna Peiris, Director at Selyn and Heshani Bogollagama, Chairperson of NCC – both hailing from the district of Kurunegala; an area where they feel this sector can play a major role in providing livelihoods especially to women.  Speaking about this initiative, Ms Peiris says, “For the last 30 years, Selyn has been committed to protect Sri Lanka’s handloom sector. We hope this initiative is the start to us doing the same for the rest of the craft industry. Craft is really so much more than the aesthetics of it; it is history and culture, its reconciliation, its livelihood development and it's for the empowerment of women. We want this to be the first of many and we also hope we can take this initiative online so that these traditions are recorded for the future. A nation’s culture is the fabric of its society and we believe that we must protect it and to pass it down so that our future can be inspired by who we were". Ms Bogollagama further stated that it is vital that the private sector joins hands with state organisations in order to ensure that the work that is already done is amplified and made sustainable. Moreover, that the National Crafts Council has initiated other such initiatives with the private sector to further this purpose and invites others to also join hands with them.

Witness the splendour of Sri Lankan artistry at the Selyn Flagship Store on the 8th of November to the 10th of November from 10:00AM to 8:00 PM.

For more information on the master-class and registration, email


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7th November, 2019 Art Events