Month: April 2019

Textile Artist

Habibah Zakri, textile artist and entrepreneur, have been experimenting and developing songket as art to wear fabric as well as for use in interior designs. Her intimate knowledge of traditional designs and weaving techniques has contributed to her efforts in fostering and reviving interest in weaving industry. Habibah’s masterpiece in songket. The Garden, depicts a composition of a profusion of flowers in gold and silver adorning the luxurious songket brocade panel.

Tengku Ismail Tengku Su, continues to preserve and enrich the weaving tradition of the east cost by maintaining the quality of craftsmanship and richness of traditional motif of songket cloth that are both courtly and classic.

The malay songket of Sarawak exemplifies the simplicity of one colour ornamented with metallic thread. The skill of master weaver, Hajjah Zainab, is embodied in her illustrious songket entitled, Midnight Blue for the Bridegroom. In an innovation of the Corak Bugis motif, The textile artist Prof Madya Dr Norwani Mohd Nawawi interprets the design in a songket piece by using a subtle combination of black and grey, while creating interest on the central panel of the fabric. This primary an ornamental piece rather than functional.

Their Masterpiece Songket

Handmade Songket in various motif and colour

Hai guys,
Come and watching this video.
Its full with variety handmade songket.

Weaving Origins and Traditions

The origins of weaving in Malaysia remain wrapped in lagends and obscurity. However, it is known that there has been a long tradition of weaving. Luxury items such as silver, gold and threads with these precious metals as well as Chinese and later Indian and Thai silks for weaving were all part of trade items since at least the late 15th century.

The Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals), the Chinese Ming Annals andthe Suma Oriental of Tome Pires record the use of sumptuous court costumes and textiles in the Malaccan Sultanate of the 16th century.

We are also aware that Indian traders first brought the primitive back-strap loom, and with it the use of cotton, to the Malayan region, although this was superseded by the simple frame loom, still in use today, which was probably introduced from Western Europe in the 16th century (Gibson-Hill and Hill, 1951 and Grace 1. Selvanayagan, 1990). In these early days, it had been recorded that Kelantan and Terengganu had two centres producing the fabled double ikat kain cindai under the influence of the Indian immigrants (Buhler 1959).

Woven Textiles in Malaysia is a heritage of the Malays in both Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak where the Ibans also excel, as well as some of the indigenous groups in Sabah, like the Bajaus.

Amongs the Malays, songket in sarong, samping or selendang represents today the classic brocade for ceremonial use, i.e. passage of the time rites like weddings, circumcision, celebration of Muslim new year and funerals. Beforethe 19th century, its use was almost exclusive for the courts and nobles as opulent ceremonial wraps. Royal families have been known to compete in the display of these masterpiece and heirlooms at important occassions when such displays are made of these symbols of prestige and power. These songkets are of sheer gold or silver or combination supplementary weave over mostly silk (sometimes cotton) ground material.

Prior to the 19th century, these textiles were produced under royal patronage and differing restrictions on use were often prescribed by different rulers, Generally, the yellow colored textiles were all exclusive to purely royal use. Gold and silver songkets in these early days were not allowed to be used by commoners and ‘it was only much later that they were allowed to wear it and then only on one day – their wedding day’ so much so that ‘subsequently a part of a border design created was given the name raja sehari’ (king for a day) (Grace l. Selvanayagan, 1990).

By the 19th century, these rules were more relaxed and more affluent commoners have begun woven their own songkets.

The Heritage Of Malaysian Textile Weaving

Introduction to Ancient Roots And Spheres Of Influence

Malaysia is strategically located at the crossroads of the main maritime entreports of China, India and beyond to Africa. By the turn of the 1st millenium, the Greek cartographer Ptolemy had already given the Malayan Peninsula the reference of the “Golden Khersonese” – the Golden Leaf. Fabled for her gold, tin and natural resources from the rain forests and coastal waters, she attracted international maritime barter and commercial trading on her shores, facilitated by the annual monsoon trade winds. Chinese, Indian and Arab traders came as early as the 5th century A.D.

She felt the influence of the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire from the late 7th century A.D. and subsequently the Hindu Majapahit Empire from the 13th century in her court circles as in the Javanese Majapahit claim on Pahang after an attack on the Srivijayan capital in Jambi. The early archaeologist finds from Kedah, Sarawak River Delta and the East Sumatran coasts suggest a homogenous cultural sphere in the realm of the Malay Archipelago.

The northern peninsular states together with southern Isthmus states of Siam were under more than 2 centuries of the Langkasuka Empire with links to old Champa from the 6th century A.D. They later became vessel states of Siam under Sukhotai and Ayudhya in the 13th to 14th century when the Ligor rulers challenged Srivijayan hold on the area. From then, Siamese influence remained strong till the early 20th century when King Rama IV and Rama V struck more reconciliatory notes. By 1909 with the Bangkok treaty, these northern states became British. However, the effect of the Siamese dominion in the Northern Malay Peninsular states remain to this day when the gigi Yu (sharks’teeth) motifs are used around the classic Malay pucuk rebungs, reminiscent of the Siamese flames on this old Malay world icon.

Songket Artworks

The Malay songket is a traditional handwoven fabric using the supplementary weft technique of metallic threads of gold and silver. It has been a source of inspiration for ideas and development of new designs and patterns to invoke new usage of fabric as an artform.

The visual impact of the songket on viewer is perhaps best expressed in the words of Grace Selvanayagam, the author of Songket, Malaysia’s Woven Treasure where she describes it as ” a rich, luxurious, ceremonial fabric, handwoven in silk or cotton, and intricately patterned with gold (and sometime silver) thread which stands out in subtle relief on the background cloth. The interplay of light and gentle shadow on the fabric create a gorgeous shimmery effect, making it undoubtedly the “queen” of handwoven fabrics”.

This ornamental fabric is worn at ceremonial and social functions, and religious celebrations. This “cloth of gold” when used as a sarong is neatly wrapped around the waist, ensuring that the patterns on the cloth should be positioned on the body as intended. In a sarong, the central panel of the cloth is worn at the back and admired for its intricate patterns and symbols. Today, the songket sarong has been adapted for non-traditional use as decorative panels and wall hangings.

My Mentor’s Product

Here some of my mentor’s product.
It was a Sampin Songket and some of it worth ten thousand ringgit.

My Mentor Miss Fatin

Learning Journey Part II

Welcome back guys.

For this part all i want to share is the 8 process of weaving before a woven fabric can be tossed, switched, rolled, interrupted, connected, propelled, twisted and weave.

Once the thread is cleaned and put in a dye of color, it is rinsed with water and keep it dried.

1. “Melikas”

The process of isolating the raw yarn as it not to be crumpled. Raw yarns are divided into small parts (30 strands) and then soaked overnight with ashes from coconut or durian skins. Yarn can also be soaked with alum. Then rinsed and boiled with ordinary water to dispose of unnecessary ingredients. The yarn is then colored according to the design of the fabric to be woven.
*This process is no longer practiced because the imported thread is not wrinkled.

2. “Menganing”

The threads that have undergone the diffusion process are inserted into the appliance to determine the length of the thread to be loaded on the appliance. Normally rolls of warp and weft yarn measuring 26 – 31 m can produce 12 – 14 pieces of fabric.

3. “Menggulung”

The molded yarn will be rolled on the roll board according to the width of the gear tooth and the length of the lotus on the roll board to be loaded. Warp is an elongated yarn on the cake. The yarn position should be checked every three times to ensure smooth arrangement.

4. “Menyampuk”

Tipping is the process of inserting the warp thread into the gear or brush. Usually, this process is done in the cake to keep it easy to tuck the thread into the machine. Each brush hole is applied to two veins of the lotus thread. On both ends of the brush are four threaded threads so that the edges of the cloth are not torn when attached to the fabric. The cloth cover is a wooden child with nails on both ends. The cloth cover keeps the edge of the woven cloth to be equal to the distance and does not twitch.

5. “Menghubung”

Connecting is the process of connecting threads from warp to threads left on the machine. The way the bonds are called the canopy. The process is to connect the warp yarn to weave. The small table is called a 10 cm long table, 8 cm wide and 20 cm is used for connecting.

6. “Mengarak”

The work is done after the process of interruption. Stirring is done by stripping foreign threads or rust yarn to rust, including lasers. The amount of corrosion used is usually only two rust and each rust has four stems

7. “Menyolek”

The most complicated work in the process of weaving songket cloth. How to design a pattern is to propose bamboo skewers on the desired warp thread. Songket cloth is usually woven with three-pointed or five-pointed techniques. If using a five-pointed, every five warp threads, one threaded thread is pushed down and the threads of the base are then disassembled. After the warp thread is above, then you can squeeze in various patterns on warp threads using bamboo skewers. “Belira” is placed on each of the bamboo skewers in turn. “Belira” is upheld to delight the bonding of yarn buttons. These buttons will make the flower pattern or motif on the songket cloth. Upon completion of the tapered process, the stain thread with its rust is converted into a weaving cake to be woven into a songket cloth.

8. “Menenun”

Weaving is the last process, ie the thread of the warp is stepped by the feed yarn to be fabricated. For a full patterned songket fabric, golden threads are stretched through gold thread piston to produce flower pattern embroidery or full pattern design. For horizontal pattern songket or scattered flower pattern, golden threads are stretched through attempts to get the desired motifs. Usually after one gold thread is ripped, it is blown (beat) and followed by two threads feed. Weavers will convert button threads by rotation and predefined patterns. This process is repeated so as to produce a songket cloth.

Learning Journey Part I

Assalamualaikum and good morning guys,

In this post i want to share to you guys what i learned from my previous class with my mentor.

From the previous class, i learned to know the part of our looms. It so important for us to know since we need to handle them during the process of weaving.

But, i am so sorry because all the term of the part of loom in Bahasa Malaysia version.

So, let move to the picture below !

The Part Of Our Loom

Additional Weaving Tools

That all for today, till we meet again.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts and comments on this.

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