Tourism Malaysia

Textile Talk: Dream of the Drape

September 10, 2011 at 4:00 pm

In every culture, women’s wear has always been more elaborate than men’s wear. Women are often associated to beauty, and this usually extends to their attire. One of the more elaborate traditional women’s costumes in Malaysia has to be the saree of the Indians.

Learn about the saree at this exhibtion

The saree is quite a unique costume, and is actually a strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from four to nine metres in length. In its own way it defies definition, as this simple strip of cloth is transformed into a complex costume, merely by the technique in which is used to wrap the body. The saree covers quite a lot of the body, yet has always been regarded as quite an exotic and sensual outfit, often revealing as much as it conceals. It has been worn by generations of Indian women, and has become one of the most famous symbols of Indian culture.

This September, the National Textile Museum is holding an exhibition and fashion show celebrating the saree. Entitled Dream of the Drape, this exhibition is from 7th till 11th September, from 9 am to 6 pm. Two fashion shows are lined up as well, taking place on Saturday, 10th September, from 6 pm to 9 pm, and Sunday, 11th September, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Admission is free to all.

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Tourism Malaysia

August 2011 Textile Talk at Textile Museum

August 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

The Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur will be organising a talk on the proper ways of tying the ‘kain samping‘, an adornment that is typically worn with the Baju Melayu. The Baju Melayu is a traditional Malay outfit for men. Literally known as ‘Malay shirt’, the Baju Melayu is made out of two parts. The first part is the baju itself, which is normally long sleeved with a raised stiff collar known as the cekak musang. The second part of the outfit is of course the long pants that goes with it. The ‘kain samping‘ is a piece of cloth usually made out of songket cloth or kain sarung that is folded around the wearer’s waist.

The Baju Melayu may differ from state to state, although the general design remains the same. For example, in the state of Johor, the kain samping or kain sarung is worn below the baju instead of above it. Another difference is that the baju itself does not have a cekak musang collar. Instead, the opening is hemmed with stiff stitching known as tulang belut (literally eel’s spine) and ends with a small loop at the top of one side to fit a singular dress stud. This style is known as the Teluk Belanga style, believed to be designed by Sultan Abu Bakar’s aides to commemorate the move of Johor’s administrative capital from Teluk Belanga in Singapore to Tanjung Puteri in 1886, which was then renamed as Johor Bahru.

Textile Talk at Textile Museum

Who says Baju Melayu is only for grown-ups? Kids these days can also look smart in a full Baju Melayu attire

The emphasis of the talk will be more on the different ways of tying the kain samping. Led by En. Muhamad Sharif bin Othman, also known as Arif D’Tanjong, it will see the speaker touching on informative areas such as the different designs that one tie the fabric. He will also demonstrate the different designs like ‘ayam teleng‘, ‘kelopak jantung‘, ‘untian kasih‘ (which is normally worn by bridegrooms), ‘ombak beralun‘, ‘ikat gulung‘ and other styles. The talk will be held on 19th August 2011 at Galeri Saindera at 10.30 am. There is a charge of RM 20 for every participant as each of them will also receive a kain samping as a complimentary gift. For those who are interested in participating, registration is required. Please call or email Pn. Nor Asmah at or 019 366 7275. Alternatively, registration can also be made by contacting En. Syahrul at 012 674 2512 for more information.

Photo (c) emrank

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