Our story

How Ceylon Heritage started...

Since the start in 1981 we have trained more than 5000 women in the hand knitting art throughout Sri Lanka, provided them employment, and supported their families.


The story of Ceylon Heritage dates back to 1981, when the social enterprise was established as Dale Craft Knit (Pvt) Ltd., a joint venture with the Dale of Norway, the knitwear department of Dale Fabrikker, and a Norwegian manufacturer of premium knitwear. The project purpose was to generate employment for Sri Lankan rural women by the production of exclusive hand knitted garments for Dale of Norway. The social initiative was led by Knut Gjertsen, the Head Manager of the Dale of Norway knitwear department, and his wife Asta Marie Gjertsen, the hand knitting expert, and sponsored by NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).
1982 - 2004

Hand knit production for Dale of Norway

Civil war in Sri Lanka led to vast delayments and difficulties in the project. However, Asta Marie Gjertsen led several hand knit educational workshops for Irish catholic nuns, settled in Sri Lanka, who in turn established knitting centers in 18 rural communities and continued the knitting training and employment of women within their local communities. Dale of Norway introduced the Dale Exclusive hand knit collection in the international sport and tourist market.
2005 - 2010

New ownership

Dale of Norway sold their shares in Dale Craft Knit (Pvt) Ltd and the company was renamed Ceylon Heritage Holding (Pvt) Ltd, and the subsidiary Norwegian Spirit (Pvt) Ltd. Organized as a trust and continuing the original project purpose, being a social enterprise, generating hand knit training and employment of Sri Lankan rural women in their home villages. The exclusive Norwegian Spirit Hand Knit Collection was launched in the Norwegian sports and apparel market.
2010 - Today

Hand knit services and production on demand

Since 2010 we have produced exclusive hand knit collections on demand for a few and carefully selected European fashion designers, sport brands, and for leading brands of hand knitting yarns. We have 14 knitting centers situated in four provinces of Sri Lanka. Our knitting centers are the daily workplace for our knitters and are managed by our center leaders. Today we employ 125 well experienced knitters, and a head office staff of 6.

We would love to hear from you!