Amongst a numbers of artistic skills that Sri Lanka is well known for, ‘Beeralu lace making’ is believed to have been passed down from either the Dutch or Portuguese and now is a significant craft within the country. In fact, Sri Lanka has become one of the biggest suppliers of famous lingerie brands, such as Victoria’s Secret. (Being a conservative island, the hot reputation the country holds when it comes to lacy nightwear and lingerie is rather ironic!)
Lace making is a particularly booming industry in the southern coastal stretch of Sri Lanka. Owing to certain government initiatives, the intricate art is seeing a revival and many women in the coastal regions have made it a source of income while adding their own spin on the weaving.
While travelling along the southern coasts, visitors can visit a lace workshop and chat with the beeralu weaving ladies as they work the wooden spindle shaped bobbins on a special white pillow with incredible speed to create the delicate lace. Learn more about the weavers’ life stories and even try your hand at the weaving – don’t despair if you can’t seem to get it right, these women have practised for years to become the expert artisans they are today!