About ‘Cheetha’

‘Cheetha’ is popular among village culture in Sri Lanka. It is worn by women in all ethnic groups, mainly by village people and people who are working in farming. Also elderly women wear around the house. Women wear one meter of ‘Cheetha’ piece rap tightly around their waist and a short or long blouse on top. Growing up as children me and my sister use to wear dresses made with ‘Cheetha’. Our Grandmother use to braid our hairs with same ‘Cheetha’ textile pieces. I use to collect and keep all the cut of pieces of textile to play with.

I began to notice ‘Cheetha’ textile was slowly disappearing from our culture with “westernization” and “made in china” ready-made cheap clothes. Among Sri Lankan society it has labelled as “shame” to wear it, because it is considered as a low class wardrobe worn by street cleaner, street sellers, garbage collectors and domestic workers around the city.

‘Cheetha’ is made of 100% cotton and has always colourful, floral prints. Dankotuwa, a city on the west coast, is the only place in Sri Lanka where ‘Cheetha’ is still produced. The main production has been outsourced to China and India.