apihappi – hand loomed fabrics from sri lanka

June 26, 2014


Recently I was contacted by a company called ApiHappi regarding a review of their hand woven fabrics. Founded by partners Aparna and Etosha, ApiHappi is a new creative endeavor that provides jobs for underprivileged women in Sri Lanka by teaching them to weave fabric on a handloom. Handloomed fabrics are unique because the looms are operated entirely by human energy, and you can see that hand made touch in each piece of cloth.


ApiHappi got started by making drawstring “stringy” bags out of their handloomed fabrics which led to a program to provide backpacks to children in rural, poverty stricken areas of Sri Lanka. Aparna has a beautiful selection of bags to choose from on the ApiHappi website, but the product I’m here to talk about today is handloomed yardage that you can now buy for your own sewing projects!


Here are just a few of the fabric options now available on ApiHappi.


The fabric is standard width and has the weight/durability of a canvas but with a bit of give to it. It’s woven with hand dyed cotton threads which are sourced from another small artisan in Sri Lanka. The nature of this type of weaving makes for a beautiful solid colored fabric at first glance, but upon closer inspection you can see the different colors of each individual thread. It ads so much depth and texture to the fabric! This particular color is called Beluga Blue.


The fabric has a selvage just like you’d see on store bought yardage but definitely has a rustic, old world sort of overall appearance. I used my serger to finish the top and bottom edges and then threw the fabric in the washing machine to see how it would hold up. It came out just fine (even after a good tumble dry) and softened up nicely. I found the fabric surprisingly easy to sew with, and my machine handled the thickness really well.


I made two simple throw pillows (well, three if you count the one I made with my own fabric design) and I love the way they turned out. A throw pillow was my unimaginative choice to test drive the fabric, but you could use ApiHappi yardage for almost any Home Dec project including table runners, place mats, roman shades, etc. Utility bags, beach bags, and tote bags are also perfect projects to pair with this fabric. They even have a fabric estimator to help you decide how much you’ll need.


(Lucille was my creative director for today’s post. The colors in her collar just happened to match my photoshoot perfectly ๐Ÿ˜‰ She’s doing well after her surgery but I’ll have a real update on that later!)


Though I didn’t immediately think of garment sewing when first handling the fabric, I bet it would work well for a pair of shorts or jacket (especially in those beautiful stripes!). I have a little bit of the fabric leftover that I’m going to experiment with and report back. All in all it’s been a real pleasure to get to know more about ApiHappi and their mission to support creativity and community, and now I have two beautiful handloomed throw pillows to enjoy.

What kinds of things would you sew with a beautiful fabric (handloomed with love!) all the way from Sri Lanka?


*I was provided with the fabric and bag in exchange for this product review. All views expressed are my own. Photos by me.