Friday, June 27, 2008


kain lepas
Variation Four. The Kain Lepas is about two and a half metres in length and about 45 inches in width. It is worn more tight fitting than the sarong. However because of the way it is folded, it does not restrict walking and is quite comfortable to wear. The right end of the sarong is wrapped around the back of the body towards the left front end. This end should be pulled up so that the bottom end of the sarong hangs around or above the knee. Wrap the long end of the sarong around the waist in an anticlockwise direction so that the sarong gets gradually longer as it is wrapped around. The sarong should end at the front slightly to the right. If the end of the sarong should end up at the back of the body or too far left loosen the wrap and adjust accordingly. Tie up at the waist with a belt.
As the sarong is tied at an angle with the inside fold half-way up the leg, this will give the sarong wrap some space for movement when the wearer is walking.

kain samping
Variation Five The Kain Samping is worn by a man. It is a short sarong - about half the size of the regular sarong. It is worn over the trouser of the baju kurung ensemble. It is tied like the variations one and two methods described above. However, when variation two is used, the fan at the top left hand is spread out to form a circular fan.
The Kain Samping may be made of any material, but the Kain Songket Samping is usually worn at ceremonies and Hari Raya. The Kain Samping Songket can be purchased at Geylang Serai and Arab Street in Singapore. The Kain Songket is woven in Malaysia especially in the states of Kelantan & Trengganu.

How to tie sarong

Five variations of tying the sarong are explained and illustrated below.
the sarong
Variation One. Step into the centre of the tubular sarong. Pull up the sarong up to the waist. Make a fold at the extreme left side of the body and bring the fold over to the right side of the body. The edge of the fold should come up to two thirds at the right side of the body. To adjust the fold, just bunch up the slack on the inside left fold of the sarong. A slim or small person may find the flap going around the right side of the body to the back, in which case the adjustment will become necessary. Keep the sarong in place with a belt.
Variation Two. Start as for Variation One. Take up the slack in the sarong at the left side of the body by making as many folds as is necessary in until the sarong is tightly fitting at the waiste. Keep the folds in place with a belt. The folds should spread out like a fan at the bottom end of the sarong.
Variation Three. Step into the centre of the sarong. Pull the front part of the sarong taut across the tummy. Make a large single large box pleat at the back and fix the sarong in place with a belt.

Baju Kurungis

the baju kurungis the traditional apparel for Malay men and women in Malaysia and Singapore.
For women, the ensemble comprises a long-sleeved loose fitting long blouse worn over a matching sarong. Batik sarong is not usually worn with the Baju Kurung except for very casual wear at home when no attempt is made to match the Baju.
To complete the outfit, a long scarf (selendang) (usually made of lace) is worn around the shoulders or around the head, crossed loosely at the front of the neck.
For men, the baju is worn with matching trousers. A kain samping (usually made of Kain Songket ) completes the ensemble. The kain samping is a short sarong worn around the waist with the hemline just above the knee.
The Baju Kurung is a very comfortable outfit to wear - it is non-restrictive and is cool in the tropical weather. It looks elegant on any kind of figure as the flowing lines of the baju camouflages any imperfect figure.

Batik History

A short history and great creativity can serve as catchwords for the commercial production of batik in Malaysia. Covering scarcely 100 years, this history has been full of life and movement. We know that Malays on the East Coast of the peninsula experimented with textile prints without wax in the early 1900s. In the 1920s people in the same area started using a technique with screen prints for fast and cheap production of decorated textiles. Around 1930 the ‘real’ batik production started, stamping with wax directly on the fabric. (Source: Arney 1987). Long before this production got started batik, especially from Java, was known and used in the area that is now Malaysia. The Malays learned the techniques and adopted the patterns from the Javanese. Still today elements of patterns from the Javanese textiles are continued and developed in many of the textiles that are produced by block printing as well as screen printing.
Copying and creativityis another pair of catchwords fit to describe the production of batik in Malaysia. Even though the Javanese heritage is still visible, Malaysian producers have partly liberated themselves from it and developed their craft in new directions. This can be seen in technique and design as well as in the development of new types of products. In particular, the hand-painted batik from the late twentieth century represents an innovation, not least because it differs technically from the Javanese tradition of handdrawing. First, it is a simplification of the production process. Second, it opens up for more individual freedom and creativity; an entirely new design tradition has sprung up, one that is dominated by large motifs drawn freely on a plain-coloured background. A few textile artists emerge as remarkable innovators, and these are soon followed and copied by many others. To take one example, a type of silk scarf with floral motifs has lost its exclusivity, and although the scarves are attractive, they are easily perceived as stereotyped.
The dominant North-EastTwo circumstances are vitally important in order to understand many aspects of the batik business in Malaysia. First, there is the dominance of the northeast, and second, the simple technology.
In the Northeastern States Kelantan and Terengganu industrial alternatives have been weakly developed; production and sale of batik have thus meant valuable opportunities for employment. The batik factories are particularly numerous around the major cities Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu.The Malays make up more than 90 % of the population in these States, and production as well as trade in batik have been a Malay niche in the multiethnic Malaysian society. We see here a unique outlet for Malay enterprise in a society where other groups have tended to dominate trade and industry.
As far as Kelantan is concerned, the proximity to Thailand has been important economically as well as culturally. There has always been a brisk border trade. And in folklore as well as in handicraft traditions there are easily discernible connections. Batik has been exported from the East Coast States to the rest of Malaysia, although a considerable production has also sprung up on the West Coast. It remains to be said that the Malay dominance of batik is now about to dwindle in the West Coast States (se the page on the tourist market).
The strength of low technologyAnother feature to be noted is the relatively simple and inexpensive production outfit as well as the organisation of the production process. Flexibility is the underlying strength of low technology. It is relatively easy to get started and easy to decrease the activity in slack periods without having to close down completely.
The factories, or workshops, are usually small family establishments, and part of the batik processing is often farmed out to women in the neighbourhood. In this way both loss and gain are spread. Moreover, a reservoir of skills is developed: a great number of people in the factory’s vicinity have a basic knowledge of batik production. The workshops can draw on this reservoir, and many skilled individuals can also make small amounts of handdrawn batik independently as a part time occupation (see also The tourist market).
State and marketBy and large, the batik business has been driven forward by free enterprise and a free market. After Independence the authorities were eager to strengthen economic development, particularly in the Malay population, and these efforts were boosted when the New Economic Policy was launched in 1971. This has also effected the batik sector in several ways. The huge development programme MARA grants support to Malay entrepreneurship, and runs training institutions on nearly every conceivable occupational area.
Many batik artists have been educated at the MARA Institute of Technology. Kraftangan, another important Federal agency, co-ordinates and supports activities within arts and crafts. Kraftangan’s sales organisation is KARYANEKA, with departments and shops in most States. KARYANEKA partly seeks products actively from crafts producers, and partly accepts offers from producers if these pass certain criteria of quality.
But many batik producers and traders operate outside these State institutions, and there are also a number of private schools that train batik artists. Furthermore, a great deal of training still takes place through direct, practical participation in batik production, particularly within the smaller family concerns.

Malaysia Sarong

Sarongs are truly the most versatile, and most colorful wearing apparel on Earth. The Sarong can either be used as a body covering, or as a beach covering or even as a sheet. There are so many uses for these beautiful pieces of fabric that it is almost impossible to list their uses.
To wear the Sarong you wrap the Sarong around the waist with the front rectangular piece lined up on the front of the body which is usually the darker long rectangle. By gathering the ends you can then tie a knot with the fabric, and thus it stays on the waist. This is a perfect idea for the beach or any hot day or even to lounge around in the house. They also can be used a very decorative wall hangings or even window curtains. Their use is unlimited.