Reed Industry In Sri Lanka, From Creating Household Items To A Vital Tourist Attraction!

Reed Industry In Sri Lanka

Due to the priority, it lends to creating tools and products for village life, the reed industry in Sri Lanka holds a key position in the country. The most typical are made of reeds and are always popular with tourists, especially those who care about the environment.

Reed industry in Sri Lanka, an essential handicraft in the past.

The wetlands of Sri Lanka, where rice farming is the primary source of rural income, previously hosted many reed plant species. Typically, rush and reeds were present in the rice paddy fields. Since it gave farmers another resource to produce household essentials, this natural formation has historically been allowed to exist.

What is rush reed?

Products from rush and reed are made from talipot or thalakola, coconut and palmyrah leaves, cane, and bamboo. 

Reed Industry In Sri Lanka

How are reed products in Sri Lanka created?

Reeds, plants that can be found naturally, go through a delicate and environmentally friendly procedure to become the final product.

Three fundamental steps make up the entire process.

  • Cutting and gathering reeds
  • Drying the reeds in the sun when dew is present in the air
  • Painting the reeds with plant-based dyes

The motifs used to embellish modern reed products date back many years. These methods use both conventional and new approaches.

What are the popular reed products in Sri Lanka?

Products made by hand from reed and rush are,

  • table mats
  • handbags
  • decorative wall hangings
  • purses
  • sun hats
  • baskets
  • lamp shades
  • watti
  • petti
  • paduru (mats)
  • gamanmalu (bags)
  • hambili (small purses)
  • paha (strainer)

and other home furnishings. Among all other rush and reed products, reed mats in Sri Lanka have global recognition and are a significant export item that brings a massive income to the country.

Reed watti

Reed handicrafts expansion in Sri Lanka

Which area is famous reed products?

The production of mats and weaves from reeds and coir fibers occurs in the Dumbara district of Kandy, Sri Lanka, which is best known for its mat industry. They are embellished with vibrant patterns such as mats, containers, animal figures, double ropes, flower trees, and many more. Moreover, the Gampaha, Attanagalla, and Matugama regions are famous for their reed product manufacturing.


In the past, Sri Lanka’s wetlands were home to a variety of reed plant species mixed into the rice paddies, giving farmers a new source of materials to make household items like mats and bags. The value of rush and reed work has increased as environmental pollution’s consequences have become more severe in recent years, boosting the island’s internal economy significantly. Reed industry in Sri Lanka serves the country as a major export item boosting tourist attraction to the country.


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