INTERCONTINENTAL KUALA LUMPUR
Malaysian Traditional Fashion
Have you ever been to Kuala Lumpur? If you haven’t done it so far, then do make it a point to plan a visit to this iconic Asian city soon. In fact, Kuala Lumpur travel offers retrospective opportunities to everyone regarding the Malaysian customs, cultural and traditional trends. So, do not miss the lifetime opportunity of visiting the Malaysian capital, which showcases some of the authentic Malaysian traditional apparels as well.
The Malaysian batik truly exemplifies the country’s textile art form at its best. It is somewhat difficult to trace the origin of this great art form, notwithstanding the fact that there are a number of interesting stories, which explain how batik set its foothold in the Malaysian textile mills. It is, however, universally acknowledged that the present artwork is the result of erstwhile trade relations between Malaysia and Indonesia. Hence, the present day batik patterns reflect a fine coalescence between the traditional Malaysian and Javenian styles. Also, the Sumatran batik, popularly known as Jambi batik have traces of influence in the local Malaysian batik art forms. This is due to the fact that a number of Javanese and Sumatran craftsmen immigrated to Malaysia so as to seek jobs in the country.
Most of the batik textile mills are located along the east coast of Malaysia. Initially, the Javanese batik craftsmen introduced wax and copper block for the creation and printing of designs. In fact, the commercial production started in 1960.As a result, The Malaysian batik evolved in a unique aesthetic style, which is absolutely different from the hand-painted Javanese batik. Most of the fabrics are vivid depictions of floral and leafy patterns, since Islam forbids any form of animal images. Butterfly designs are, however, common, and are very popular among the local people. Also, Malaysian batiks are known for their geometrical designs, and spiral patterns are highly preferred. Most of the patterns are simple and large, since they are painted with brush. Even the colours are light, and yet, vibrant. Hence, these fabrics stand in contrast to the typical deep coloured Javanese batik. In case, you prefer something less expensive, then go for the block printed ones. Batic materials are cut into shirts, skirts, sarongs, wall hangings and so on. These fabrics are light and easy to be carried.
The Malaysian hand-woven craft work is famous all over the world. They are hand-woven by using different types of local plant fibre. Also, leaves from bamboo, pandan, rattan and mengkuang are twined, coiled, plaited and woven into various useful stuffs such as mata, sepak raga balls, bags, tudung saji, baskets and so on. Most of these products are lightweight, and hence, are easy to carry. They are available in a number of lively colours, pocket-friendly, and form a major source of attraction for tourists, who carry these artifacts back home as souvenirs.
This beautiful piece of fabric belongs to the traditional Malaysian brocade family. The cloth is basically woven into cotton or silk yarns, and portrays intricately interwoven designs in golden and silver threads. Each songket passes through eight stages of production, and is woven on the traditional frame loom. Flat needles, also commonly known as cubans are used to weave in the extra metallic threads. The motifs primarily portray the countryside flora and fauna, since the weavers hail from the rural areas. The metallic thread work on the lustrous silk evokes a kind of shimmering effect. It is widely believed that the production techniques had been imported from India and the Middle-East.
As a matter of fact, songkets are believed to synthesise the Chinese, Indian and Malaysian cultural traits. Songkets are generally worn as sarongs, shoulder cloths and head covers. During the earlier days, the members of the royal family in Sumatra took pride in draping themselves in luxurious songkets. Soon, the fashion reached the Malay royal court room, and songket apparels became a popular trend among the royals. These days, songkets are being widely used for designing costumes worn during the Malay weddings. In fact, it has become a custom for the bride grooms to gift their new brides with songkets.
This exquisite clothing style owes its antecedence to the erstwhile Chinese immigrants to settled in Malaysia. These are highly fashionable, and hence, are very much in demand among the young Nyonyas. Basically, peranakan clothings have intricately woven pattern in vibrant colours, which reflect Chinese influence. All the same, they are designed to suit the Malaysian climate.