En Vogue 2.0: Rotaract Club of Moratuwa Uni. alumni organizes Beeralu-making workshop
April 19, 2023 10:27 pm
Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa has organized “En Vogue 2.0”, a Beeralu-making workshop in collaboration with Nifty Looms.
The workshop was organized after receiving multiple requests at the start of the RI Year 2022-23 to conduct a physical workshop for “En Vogue 1.0”, a newly initiated program
It was held in two phases, with phase 1 taking place at the National Craft Council premises from the 21 to 23 December, and phase 2 from the 25 to 26 March as a physical event.
The focus of the phase was to provide young designers with hands-on experience in ancient crafts in Sri Lanka, as learning these crafts on their own can be challenging due to time and cost constraints.
The organizers selected Beeralu Weaving as the first technique to be taught, as it requires a significant amount of time for practice and skill development.
Beeralu is a traditional craft in Sri Lanka that involves making handmade lace work using threads and a Beeralu pillow. The art form was introduced to Sri Lankans by the Portuguese and the Dutch during their respective periods of rule in the country.
Over the years, Sri Lanka has developed many crafts, and the techniques and designs for Beeralu have been passed down from generation to generation. The art form is particularly popular in the southern region of Sri Lanka.
The main objective of the Beeralu Making workshop organized by Rotaract Club of Alumni of University of Moratuwa was to teach the ancient Beeralu craft to the younger generation of Sri Lanka in order to preserve it for future generations.
The workshop also provided an affordable and flexible opportunity to learn new fabric-making techniques for current undergraduates and for those who are interested in learning new craft skills, despite their busy schedules.
As per the participants’ request, a basic workshop will be organized on 29 and 30 April. The workshop is open to anyone interested in attending. In the upcoming RI year, the focus will be on conducting an advanced workshop with participants who completed phase 1, 2, and 3. Additionally, workshops will be conducted for school children with the aim of producing more artisans across the country.
The workshop was conducted under the guidance of Stella Edirisinghe, a renowned instructor in the field. Her institution, “Nifty Looms,” partnered with the organizers to support the cause. With Edirisinghe’s valuable support, the workshop was able to provide a better experience for the participants, allowing them to create great memories as future designers.
A PR campaign was organized by the organizers to raise awareness about the workshop. Members conducted the campaign, which led to reaching out to four major institutions where fashion undergraduates learn. A total of 18 enthusiastic participants attended the entire workshop series, which provided them with all the necessary raw materials and Beeralu machines. Upon completion, participants were awarded e-certificates. During the workshop, participants were educated on the history of Beeralu-making practices, as well as the fundamental practical lessons they needed to master.
The Beeralu workshop was successfully concluded, with positive feedback received from the participants, and a new request to organize an advanced workshop in the future.
The workshop also provided the organizers with the opportunity to connect and create partnerships with seven different institutions and participants from various cities and districts in Sri Lanka.
The organizers’ efforts towards preserving ancient valuable craft practices are expected to benefit many designers, especially as the techniques gradually fade away with the fast-forwarding developments in the field.
It is vital to preserve these techniques and bring them up to date with modern trends.
The organizers said they are pleased to have contributed to paving the way for someone’s dream of becoming a fashionista while volunteering and making new bonds with learning experiences. They will continue to strive to come up with more valuable and creative projects in the future.