Handicrafts in Sri Lanka are made applying age-old technique which have
passed from generation to generation for centuries. For producing
handicrafts raw materials found abundantly in nature are used. Craftsmen
producing handicrafts objects were always patronised by the royal families
of Sri Lanka. The handcrafts have now become integral part of the Sri Lankan
way of life. These crafts are known for vivid color combinations and are
Batiks of Sri Lanka are of Indonesian origin but of Sri Lankan design. Was
resist dyeing technique is employed for making colorful, dramatic fabrics
designer garments. The patterns are made on the white cloth. Depending on
the pattern and size of the artwork various sessions of boiling and waxing
take place. In rural areas so many people earn their livelihood through
batiks. Sri Lanka has plenty of colorful batik styles. The batiks are good
souvenirs for tourists.
Fine handicrafts are made using the hard kernel of black wood. Galle has
been famous for these crafts for centuries. Using a mallet and a chisel,
expert craftsmen can turn a log of wood to a figure of an elephant.
Several articles are made using brass including lamps, trays, boxes,
stands, vases, bagasmats purge, baskets, lampshades, tablemats and chairs.
All these cast or wrought brassware items are bedecked with fine carving.
Demon masks were once used in demon propitiation and curative rituals. They
make colourful and dramatic decoratingg items and are available in range.
Coconut fiber is used to make coir goods mats and rags. Dumbara mat in
Kandy is one of the famous mats in Sri Lanka. Kandian highland is the center
of this highly localised craft.
There are two branches of costume jewellery in Galle: Traditional and
Kandyan. In conventional jewellery metal is used for binding the stones.
However is Kandyan jewellery more metal work is found. A technique called
filigree work is employed over silver jewellery. Hairy silver wire is used
to make telescopic grains which are welded to the surface. Kandy is known
for filigree jewellery which is costly because of hard work involved.
Lacquerware products are also popular among the tourists. Lacquer ware is
conventionally obtained from insect resign gathered from forest. This range
includes walking Sticks, bookends, ash- trays, letter - openers and wooden
Matale is known for its lac work. Lac is a type of vax obtained from a
species of insect. The vax is mixed with colors and applied on wooden
objects. These days imported wax called shallack is used instead of Lac.
Objects like vases, walking sticks, jewelery boxes and bowls are made using
wax or lac.
Lace work was introduced by Portuguese in Sri Lanka. Now it has become an
indigenous craft. It is also popularly called pillow lace because a pillow
like bed is used to make lace. Lace work is undertaken as a means of
livelihood in Galle and Matara District.
Pottery is one of the oldest handicrafts in Srilanka. About 75% population
of Sri Lanka still uses clay utensils for cooking. Apart from the objects
used in households, terracotta figures, carved vases etc are also made.
Molagoda near Kegalle on the Kandy is the best place to buy these products.