The Lace that is dying | වියන රේන්ද මියෙන කල

by Hasarel Gallage

Lace Industry is a traditional industry unique to the southern province of Sri Lanka. It is an ancient industry that has been passed from generation to generation since the colonial period of Portuguese and Dutch. Although earlier done as a domestic industry, it later received attraction of both locals and foreigners as a delicate and precious form of art. Unfortunately with the advent of imported and synthetic lace materials which are less costly, the demand for hand-woven lace has drastically declined despite their quality, intricacy and value. Today the traditional lace weavers of Weligama, Thalalla and Midigama are struggling to preserve the industry against the very minimal support from authorities. They stress the need to uphold lace making industry not merely as a lucrative industry but also a traditional Sri Lankan form of art that is very much worth preserving.

Nelum Kumari, a young mobile storyteller trained under the "Mobile Storytelling" program launched by SDJF in collaboration with iVoice and Neelan Thiruchelvam Trust (NTT) wants the authorities to look into this matter and do the justice to the community.