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Contemporary sampin wins 2nd prize in Asean contest

on 07 September 2010.

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — A contemporary sampin, the sarong worn with a Baju Melayu, woven by Sukma Kipli has made Malaysia proud by winning the Silver Prize Award at the Asean Silk Fabric and Fashion Competition last month.

Twenty-year-old Sukma is a weaver at the Royal Terengganu Songket, a heritage brand under Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

The brand’s textile design director, Dr June Ngo, told The Malaysian Insider that it all started when Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah initiated a programme to help underprivileged women, to revise the art of songket and to teach young people about songket weaving.

“The award came as a surprise to us since the girls have only been trained to weave for less than three years now,” said Ngo.

The winning piece was a contemporary Baroque-designed sampin, hand woven in cream and brown filament silk.

The Baroque songket and traditional Malay songket motifs on the piece were created using the traditional embroidery technique where the different types of coloured metallic threads are inserted and woven into the cloth.

The Silver Award came as a surprise to its winners.

The contest organised by The Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture, Thailand serves to establish regional co-operation among Asean states in technical and marketing aspects of cultural products.

Entries are judged on evenness, design and pattern, neatness, colour, creativity, concept and workmanship.

“Winning the award is a symbol of recognition for us and it feels great,” added Ngo who is also the Deputy Dean of The Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts at Unimas.

She said the foundation has two centres, one in Terengganu and another in Sarawak, which train weavers aged between 18 and 30.

Ngo believed that there will always be a future for songket but its popularity would depend on the demand. She also revealed that The Royal Terengganu Songket was moving towards more modern designs to capture today’s market.

“We are going for the contemporary look at the moment. But we also weave traditional designs depending on today’s demand,” said Ngo, who holds a PhD in fine arts.

Songket is a rich and luxurious fabric that has been hand-woven in Malaysia for more than two centuries using an intricate technique.

Originally made to adorn Malaysian royalty, songket-weaving is a laborious and time-consuming process that requires a high degree of skill and creativity.

Other countries which took part in the Asean Silk Fabric and Fashion Competition were Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

 

Extracted from The Malaysian Insider.

Arkib Berita

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