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Malaysia Handicrafts - Songket


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“Kain Sonket” is a hand woven traditional Malay fabric with gold and silver threads and worn mainly during official functions and ceremonies.
 

 

Woven on a Malay frame loom, elaborate patterns are created by introducing extra gold or silver weft threads with the use of  a flat needle or cuban. The songket goes through eight stages before it becomes a piece of fabric and it is still traditionally woven. As weavers are usually from rural areas, it is not surprising to find that the motifs are patterned after local flora and fauna. These motifs are also named after local Malay delicacies such as seri kaya, wajik, and the tepung talam, believed to be favourites of royalty. 

 


Ex
clusive songket requires between one and three months to complete, while ordinary songket only takes about 3 days.
 

Men wore the songket fashioned into a destar or head-cloth. It was only later that Malay women started wearing songket sarung in 'rolling waves; style with a baju kurung top. Today songket is a popular choice for the Malay wedding costume and is often presented by the groom to the bride as one of the wedding gifts. In order to preserve the original lustre and quality of the songket, a large cowry shell known as genus is normally used to polish the cotton fabric or songket cloth before the telepuk process is initiated.

 

Telepuk is another beautiful handicraft creation of the Malay society in the olden days. Composed of golden lace, this fabric is used specially for official functions. 

 

Songket is not meant just for the affluent as the fabric ranges from RM100, with the exclusive running into several thousands of Ringgit.

 


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