The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis travel clothing road test: the Sri Lankan handloom sarong

Written By: herbrunbridge - Feb• 11•12

Virtually everyone in Sri Lanka seems to own a number of sarongs, wrap-around garments that keep one cool in the hottest of seasons. You can buy colorful sarongs — identical to the longhi from Burma — in just about any marketplace. They are typically machine woven in Sri Lanka or India, and usually sell for 600-1000 rupees (roughly $5-8 USD).

But for an upscale sarong experience, we here at WoWasis suggest a handloom sarong made in Sri Lanka. It will be a bit more expensive, but the colors will be deeper, and the tooth of the garment will, in many cases, be raised, giving it a plusher feel. In Sri Lanka, or in any country, for that matter, we use the sarong around the house and in informal situations outdoors. It’s cool, wears well, is easy to wash, fits just about every body type, and can be worn by both men and women. Lounging around your hotel room or pool? Why not use a sarong, instead of a bathing suit?

We like our machine-loom sarongs, but absolutely adore our handloom sarong (check out the colors in the adjacent picture). You can look around a few marketplaces for handloom sarongs, but our favorite place to buy one was at Odel’s Alexandra Place store in Colombo. It’s cheaper there than at the Odel airport store, and the selection is better, too. A good handloom sarong is 2,650 rupees (about $22 USD) at Odel. If you buy one, you’ll have a great looking travel garment you can also wear at home, and be the envy of your neighbors! 

Odel, 5 Alexandra Place, Colombo 07, Sri Lanka
Tel: 011-462-5800

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