Sri Lanka Textile Excursion

Textile excursion in textile design at the University of Osnabrück

Product development with ten students for hand-woven products for the social project WEAVE in the former Tamil civil war area in the north of Sri Lanka, visit of Moratuwa University, the traditional weaving village Uda Dumbara in the mountains, the Design Academy, the National Museum, Goethe Institute, National Crafts Council, Amma Dyeing Initiative with natural dyes, textile artists, weaving initiatives. Project management Prof. Bärbel Schmidt. Teaching assignment Lucia Schwalenberg.

Excursion to a country with a rich textile tradition
A group of textile design students and faculty traveled to Sri Lanka for a three-week textile excursion in spring 2018.

Sri Lanka is a country with a rich textile tradition, especially in the field of weaving. The country is in reconstruction after almost 30 years of civil war. In social projects, handicraft centers and manufactories, handlooms are set up and used for the production of local textiles, independent of mass production in industrial free trade zones. A prerequisite for the successful marketing of hand-woven textiles is high-quality design in addition to craftsmanship.

The concrete task for the excursion group under the project leadership of Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt was to support a social project in the former Tamil civil war area in the north of Sri Lanka. The students developed and presented designs for hand-woven textiles for WEAVE, a project that enables single women, often Tamil war widows, to earn their own income by working in cooperatives and on domestic looms.

Other components of the textile excursion were visits to textile colleges on the island, a traditional weaving village in the Tamil region, a dyeing initiative in the mountains of Sri Lanka, textile manufacturers, textile artists and designers, the National Crafts Council, the National Museum in Colombo and the Goethe-Institut.

The joint workshop with students from the University of Morutawa focused on the exchange of textile techniques, the teaching of design and pedagogical concepts. Teachers and students from the University of Moratuwa and the AOD Design Academy Sri Lanka, which was also visited, were particularly interested in the currently very good technical workshop equipment in the Department of Textile Design in Osnabrück. Here, the forward-looking acquisition of a new digital hand jacquard loom has just taken place, as well as the restructuring of the weaving workshop, including the restoration of a historic punched card jacquard - unique at a university in Germany.

The preparation of the cooperation and the excursion was made possible by international contacts of the former Osnabrück University graduate, Dr. Mirja Kekeritz, who is doing research in Sri Lanka on a DAAD scholarship.

Participating students: Catrin Adam, Pauline Becking, Amelie Gieschler, Cynthia Göcken, Anna-Katharina Kestel, Anna Klinar, Carolin Polaczyk, Neeske Remy, Lara Schöber, Rieke Scholle.

Participating teachers: Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt, Dipl. Des. Lucia Schwalenberg

Photos: Lucia Schwalenberg

Prof. Dr. Bärbel Schmidt/Dr. Mirja Kekeritz/Lucia Schwalenberg
Textile Excursion Sri Lanka
Format 14,8 x 21 cm
32 pages, numerous colored illustrations
University of Osnabrück/Textile Design 2018

Textile Excursion Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka_web brochure