Colours do matter for tourism

Workshop on Strategic Use of Colours in Tourism Industry for the Clothing Sector from 02nd – 05th March 2021

The Colour is the smile of Nature whereas the nature always wears the colours of spirit. In fact, Colour is a power which directly influences the soul. Colours affect the mindset of the tourists, and the clothing sector as one of the dynamic sectors which is directly interconnected for tourism sector is finding the innovative and cutting-edge strategies of colour psychology to enhance sales.

Although the colouring is a strong retail tool for handloom, power loom as well as the tailoring sector, majority of the weavers and tailors in North, Sri Lanka does not practice the strategic colour techniques in their processes of weaving and tailoring. This was found as one of the hindering factors to have their products non-moved in the out regions as well as international markets.

Understanding the fact, EFECS Project in collaboration with Northern Province Tourism Bureau, Northern Province Department of Cooperative Development and Northern Province Department of Industries conducted a workshop on Strategic Use of Colours for Tourism Industry from 2nd – 5th March 2021.

The training programme was conducted by well renowned lecturing panel of Singer Fashion Academy. The programmes were conducted in Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya Districts addressing four selected rural cooperative clothing society members those who are currently engaged in handloom and power loom weaving and tailoring.

80 weavers and tailors including 75 women from Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society, Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society combined with Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society, Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society and Tailors in Vavuniya District combined with Kovilkulam Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society attended for this pilot programme.

Colour is a strong tool in service industries such as Tourism where the tourists react instinctively to it. Their sub-conscious minds are programmed to respond to colour which associate with leisure, freedom, chill, and joyful moments during their travel to an unknown destination. Yet, most of the weavers or tailors have not taken a customer centric approach so far. The programme taught that the weaver or the tailor has to decide the colour scheme of the creation based on the age and sex of their target customers, men or women, teenagers, middle aged, or senior people etc.

Ms. Anthnony Madalin, Instructor, Singer Fashion Academy instructing the weavers at the workshop held on 02nd March 2021 in Kondawil, Jaffna

Ms. Wajira Pieris, Lecturer, Singer Fashion Academy explaining the colouring theories with the assistance of Mr. V. Sinthujan, Former Market Development Officer, EFECS Project at the workshop

Younger customers are enticed by the energy of vibrant and bold colours, while women prefer pink in the environment, and older people like subtle hues. Wrong choice of colours will make the hoteliers and retailers find customers moving away from the hotel or store.

Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society members combined with Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society attending the programme in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive on 03rd March 2021 in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitive

Pandiyankulam weavers are isolated from the busy tourism environment due to the non-existence of tourism hotels and developments in their vicinity. Yet, the society use to supply their products to outside markets like Nuwara Eliya District. Programme showed that the properly developed products would motivate the traveller to visit the village in future.

Members of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society attending the programme held on 04th March 2021 at Pandiyankulam Divisional Secretariat

Kovilkulm TCCS has tailoring professionals currently need capacity building support for the development. Yet unavailability of young women in the society was identified as a major reason to conduct a sustainable development approach. Therefore, EFECS Project identified a group of young tailors scattered in Vavuniya District to effectively conduct the pilot programme with the assistance of District Rural Development Office in Vavuniya. Training centre currently consisted with 20 machines but running at poor condition. The resource panel recommended that the existing machines should be repaired and get into the running condition to provide effective training for them.

Members of Kovilkulam Women TCCS and young tailors attached to District Rural Development Office Vavuniya attending for the workshop held on 05th March 2021 at the Multi-Purpose centre, Vavuniya

Comprehensive Knowledge on Colouring Selection for the Apparel products were described by the trainers using the best teaching methodologies.

“Colour association is related to use every aspect to convey the brand message. The colour of the wall, curtain, shelves, and even the floor covering must be chosen with care in a hotel. Softer shades are used for a relaxed feeling while darker ones are used to create an excitement and stimulate the guests. A successful fabric maker or a tailor should be able to bring a striking balance in between the two” stated the lecturer.

Lecturer, Mrs. Wajira Pieris visualising the practical implications of colouring to the Weavers and Tailors in Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society actively participating for the programme.

The workshop improved the knowledge on What can colours do using the effect of the colour palettes. It emphasised that too many bright colours will irritate the eyes and delude the customer attention. Too much of the same colour will irritate the customer too. Care should be taken to avoid visual clutter in their products.

Ms. Wajira Pieris and Ms. Rose presenting the concepts of colouring for the members of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society members on 03rd March 2021

The programme provided a vital knowledge on colour schemes. Since the colour is the first thing that is registered in a person’s mind. 80% of information reaches the brain through eyes, and colours appeal to the eyes. The colour palette must work well across the creation and complement the lighting and product displays. By choosing the right mix and match of colours, a weaver can add a dazzle to her creative. Focus should not be on creating a beautiful piece of cloth or a dress, but on creating the one that has coherence. These facts were successfully delivered by the trainers.

Mrs. Wajira Pieris, Lecturer of Singer Fashion Academy explaining the concepts of colouring for the weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society

“Colour is the element of art. It plays an important role in decoration as well as in our life. Colours are used for various purpose in our life. It has a different meaning and when used in different combination. It can change the mood of decoration which can change the mood of person in the room. Therefore, you have to be very careful in selecting the colours for your creations” highlighted at the session.

Mrs. Wajira Pieris, Lecturer of Singer Fashion Academy explaining the importance of aligning with strategic colouring for industrial development.

EFECS Project with the financial support of Global Affairs of Canada facilitated the participants with all required materials for the training programme to productively engage with the practical sessions. The pilot project realised that strengthening the capacities of the actors in the value chain through training and market connectivity programmes are essential. This may ultimately lead to streamline the value chain in a sustainable manner. With the intention of strengthening the MSMEs specially women lined up in a value chain, EFECS Project conduct programmes identifying the right need of them.

Members of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society receiving the materials from the training panel for effective learning experience….

Mr. K. Hershanth, Market Development Officer, EFECS Project providing the materials for the weavers and tailors of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society

Members of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society engaging with the programme using the materials provided….

Vavuniya Tailor, practicing the colouring exercises using the materials….

Singer is one of the heritage brands of fashion accessories in Sri Lanka. Singer fashion academy has enjoyed many successes over the years creating professionals to the fashion industry in Sri Lanka.

Ms. K.M.Rose Virigini Wijebandara, Instructor, Singer Fashion Academy & Ms. Anthnony Madalin, Instructor, Singer Fashion Academy assisting the members of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society

With a large network of training centres, Singer Fashion Academy is now penetrating in to the rural areas in the country where their presence is critically required to empower the livelihood of local women.

Ms. Kanchana Perera & Ms. Wajira Pieris transferring the practical knowledge on effective use of colours for the Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society….

Ms. K.M.Rose Virigini Wijebandara, Instructor, Singer Fashion Academy assisting the members of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society

Mrs. Wajira Pieris, Lecturer of Singer Fashion Academy engaging with a young tailor in Vavuniya for better colouring implementation.

Colour choice is a very personal thing, but, as anyone who is ever created a muddy-looking weaving project knows, there is definitely some degree of right and wrong in weaving design. Once learnt the ins and outs of choosing colours for weaving, it will be easier to confidently combine colours that will complement each other and the weave structure. The programme provided the basic guide to reach that target for the weavers and tailors.

Participants created suitable colour combinations using the model pictures provided….

Colour combinations created by a weaver of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society

Handloom Weavers of Pandiyankulam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society creating the different colour combinations suitable for the weaving ….

Tailors in Vavuniya, understanding the variations of colouring for fashion.

The participants were given the opportunity to understand the warm colours and cool colours.

Northern Province Tourism Bureau which is responsible for the development of tourism in the region took over the challenge of steering the pilot by assigning dedicated officers for each projects in districts.

Ms. R. Rakavi, Trainee, Northern Province Tourism Bureau assisting the participants at Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society

Ms. Priya, Representative from Northern Province Tourism Bureau assisting the workshop of Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society

Ms. R. Rakavi, Trainee, Northern Province Tourism Bureau assisting the Vavuniya Tailors.

SANASA Uththamavi has taken a considerable amount of responsibility in serving the women in Northern Province through various initiatives.  The officers engaged in this programme to give a better opportunity to the Women in North.

Ms. T. Saageny, Women Development Officer, SANASA Uththamavi, assisting at the workshop held at Pandiyankulam, Mullaitivu.

Ms. Y.Vibeeshana, MSME Officer, SANASA Uththamavi assisting the lecturer at Vavuniya Workshop held on 04th March 2021

Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism), EFECS Project getting the expert consultations from the lecturer on the existing product designs created by a member…

Mrs. Wajira Pieris, Lecturer of Singer Business School, Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism), EFECS Project, Mr. K. Hershanth, Market Development Officer, EFECS Project joining for the wrapping up session of programme…

Mr. K. Hershanth, Market Development Officer, EFECS Project speaking at the wrap up session of Mulliyawalai Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society

Mr. Kunasingham, President, Kadda Vinayagar Thrift and Credit Cooperative Society thanking the EFECS Project, Singer Fashion Academy and Northern Province Tourism Bureau and Department of Cooperatives for taking the initiative of connecting the rural industries with the Tourism Value Chain.

Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism), EFECS Project, Delivering the vote of thanks at the end of the session of Pandiyankulam Society.

While certain colours generally invoke the same reactions in most people, it is still important to note that shade and saturation can drastically change their character. As a rule of thumb, light colours are perceived as airy and make rooms feel brighter and more spacious. Dark colours, on the other hand, lend sophistication and intimacy. Blues are some of the most universally liked colours: They are generally associated with calmness and serenity and are therefore some of the best choices for bedrooms and bathrooms. A good use of a periwinkle palette is a sunny room with large windows, as it can cool the heat and diffuse brightness.

“It is indeed an important requirement of understanding the colour psychology before manufacturing a bedsheet, cushion, pillow, or a table mat for a hotel. Similarly, a dress for a tourist shop store. I hope this programme would give you the opportunity to re-think before making your products to the tourism industry” said Ms. Abeynayake wrapping up the session in Vavuniya.

Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism), EFECS Project and Mr. K. Hershanth, Market Development Officer, EFECS Project wrapping up the session in Vavuniya.

Moment with the tailors, weavers of Pandiyankulam and Vavuniya at the end of the programme.