Barefoot (PVT) Ltd today is a design house that produces beautiful handloom fabric, which is sold by the metre or made into a wide range of cleverly created practical products. Today these are sold in three shops in Sri Lanka and exported around the world.

Barefoot was founded by Barbara Sansoni, an artist, writer and designer. Barbara created a brand that is synonymous with dazzling colour and quirky creativity with a truly Sri Lankan flavor. It all began fifty years ago, when Barbara was asked to design handloom textiles for women learning to weave at a convent workshop north of Colombo. Barbara decided to establish and finance four village weaving centres. It was important to her to bring work to women rather than women to work. She was determined to avoid at all costs a factory-like set up. The girls would weave in large halls with open windows. The early days were full of challenges for Barbara –like driving to the weaving centres in her small Volkswagen, or having to find ways to work with a limited range of colours. She would eventually learn how to dye fabrics and with the help of Jeremy Marjan who became Barefoot’s master dyer, they created spectacular hues. Barbara’s exceptional talent made the project a success. Her iconic designs, with their flamboyant use of colour, were totally original and utterly irresistible. They soon became part of every Colombo home.

Thecompany Barbara Sansoni founded has grown and continues to provide employment for many people.Barefoot’s shops sell alongside their own brand, a wide range of carefully selected local products.Barefoot under the guidance of Dominic Sansoni’s fosters creativity in all its in house designers, artisans and suppliers resulting in original and exciting products and inspiring Sri Lanka’s creative community. In addition, the Barefoot Gallery has made a considerable contribution to Sri Lanka’s art scene, regularly exhibiting the very best Sri Lankan artists. No surprise thenthat the gently arty atmosphere at Barefoot has made it a hubfor artistic and creative souls who gather in the Café.

Barefoot Fabric

At the heart of the Barefoot range are Barefoot textiles, with which the whole story began. Hand woven in a variety of textures they are known for the use of vivid, vibrant, colour. Created by a dedicated team of designers, weavers and dyers, Barefoot designs are inspired by the colours of Sri Lanka- the blue oceans or the green paddy fields or the golden sun – Barefoot textiles have been used for furnishings and curtains to add colour to Sri Lankan households for many generations.

Barefoot Linen

The famous Barefoot handlooms go into creating a stunning range of linen that combines colour and texture with traditional needlework – tablecloths, tablemats, napkins, cushion covers, wall hangings and bedspreads. Barefoot linen is of the highest quality and is famously long lasting. Everyone has a Barefoot tablecloth or bedspread they’ve been using for decades.

Barefoot Toys

Barefoot toys are carefully crafted and simply adorable. Barefoot mice are one of Barbara’s oldest designs and are an enduring favourite. But there’s much more – just about every animal you can think of from elephants to penguins, monkeys to octopi, and lizards to frog princes.

Barefoot Clothing

Barefoot’s clothes are colourful, comfortable, timeless, and enticingfor everyone.Barefoot’s new collections are created by a gifted team of designers inspired by both East and West. There are the stunning Barefoot saris in cotton and silk, and beautiful sarongs. Among the treasures here are thebeach dresses, the Barbara Cross-Over blouse, kaftans, men’s shirts and trousers and a wonderful range of children’s clothing. The traditional Sri Lankan cloth and jacket are a Barefoot classic.

Barefoot Bags

Complete the outfit with a Barefoot bag. Beautiful and practical Barefoot bags are 100% cotton, washable and durable. They are available in a variety of designs to suit various purposes. Check out the newest addition – the Isabella Camera Bag.

Barefoot Warehouse

The ‘Warehouse’ section of Barefoot displays fine craft from around the island. Painted wooden objects like candle stands, stools and boxes have become collectibles.Skilled craftsmen make well-made dining tables, chairs and coffee tables for the store.

Dumbara Weaving Range

The Dumbara weaving products are produced with a family of Sinhala weavers using traditional Arabic designs that the family’s been using since the seventeenth century. This beautiful range includes cushion covers, bedspreads, table runners and wall hangings. There is also a range of batik cushion covers that were originally created using designs by Ena de Silva.

Barefoot Jewellery

Accessorise your new Barefoot outfit with a beautiful piece of jewellery. Barefoot offers stunning pieces of locally crafted jewellery inspired by traditional Sri Lankan designs and made with Sri Lankan gems. There are also special collections by celebrated designers – Cantaloupe, Sarika Durrant and more. Check out the Emerge Collection created by an organization that protect and safeguard vulnerable young children.

The Barefoot Bookshop

The Barefoot Bookshop provides of exquisitely chosen selection of books to suit a variety of interests. There is a fabulous collection of art and photography books. There is also an excellent collection of fiction. The Sri Lankan section provides a huge selection of Sri Lankan authors. There’s a separate section for Perera Hussein Publications. There is also a wonderful selection of children’s books. The Bookshop also offers some wonderful vintage Ceylon posters and postcards and the Skeen &Co collection of black and white photographs of colonial Ceylon as postcards, posters and framed posters. The Barefoot stationary collection features notebooks, sketchbooks, photo albums and more all beautifully covered in colourful Barefoot fabric.

Tea and Spices

Barefoot offers several brands of luxury Ceylon Teas, quality Sri Lankan spices delicious and chutneys, jams, love cake and milk toffee.

Beauty and Bath Products

Treat yourself to some luxurious beauty and bath products by Spa Ceylon and Spice Island as well as Barefoot’s own range of all natural soaps in many tempting varieties.

The Barefoot Café

And when you’re tired out after a hard day’s shopping, the Barefoot Café, nestled in a frangipani garden at the back of the shop, is the perfect place to unwind and recover. Sitting beneath a tree at the Barefoot Café, you won’t believe you’re in the heart of the city. And the food is to die for - delicious International and Fusion Cuisine. The Black Pork Curry is a particular favourite with regulars. And the cheesecake is simply out of this world. Live music is a particular feature of the Café. On Friday evenings there’s Jazz by the Music Matters Trio at 6.30 to 9. There’s a regular live performance on Saturday afternoons. And on Sunday afternoons there’s Sunday Jazz from 12- to 4.

The Barefoot Gallery

Adjoining the Café is the Barefoot Gallery, which regularly hosts exhibitions by some of Sri Lanka’s most talented artists. Don’t miss the Laki Senanayake exhibition which begins on the 19th of December 2014 until 4th January 2014.

The Print Gallery

Above the gallery is the newly opened print gallery which sells photographs by the Three Blind Men, Dominic Sansoni, Sebastian Possingis and Rukshan Jayawardene.

All in all Barefoot has something for everyone. It’s the perfect place to buy gifts and treat yourself as well!

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