TENUN showcases creative expressions

Guests at the event.

TENUN Fashion Week highlights ASEAN’s weaving culture and demonstrates its fine fabrics’ incredible durability. The creativity and expression of crafts, culture, and fashion have captivated the people during the TENUN Showcase at The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place in Kuala Lumpur.

It was an extraordinary day on May 19 for guests who attended an event at The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place, Kuala Lumpur.

Guests were intrigued by the creativity and expression of crafts, culture, and fashion at the TENUN Showcase.

Fashion is said to be fueled by the need to be different in order to stand out, while still allowing for a margin of convention to fit in.

TENUN Fashion Week is devoted to ASEAN’s handweavers, highlighting the region’s weaving culture and demonstrating its fine fabrics’ incredible durability.

It would be impossible to describe all of the countries’ centuries-old weaving traditions without including Cambodia’s ikat, Thailand’s mudmee, Indonesia’s songket and Malaysia’s tenun, the Philippines’ pina silk, and Laos’ Chok. There are, of course, several others.

The purpose of the event, according to the organisers, was to promote Southeast Asia as a global centre of excellence for textile and innovation.

TENUN, organised by AHPADA (ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association) and Tanoti with support from the Maybank Foundation and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Sarawak, is in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — SDG 1 No Poverty, SDG 5 Gender Equality, SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities, SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production.

Through live demonstrations by professional handweavers, visitors to TENUN were able to examine the exquisite textiles up close and learn about the intricate handiwork that goes into producing them.

The skills and craftsmanship required for weaving fabrics have been refined over time, allowing for the creation of distinct qualities that define the identities of various regional fabrics.

These exquisite materials are a source of national pride, as well as a priceless national art form derived from a valuable history of knowledge steeped in tradition.

Not to mention that they are sought for in the global marketplace, where all things historical and capable of attaining heirloom appeal are uncommon and valuable.

This explains why TENUN is dedicated to promoting and preserving these materials, as well as the Southeast Asian hand weaving technique.

According to the organisers, the region’s weaving communities, particularly rural women, are at the heart of TENUN, and they must be allowed and encouraged to keep practising their talents.

Many of them, unfortunately, lack basic resources as well as access to markets, financing, and other forms of assistance. TENUN is the appropriate place for them to show off their distinctive talent and knowledge to the general public, boosting their marketability and profitability.

To put it simply, this exhibit stands out from the rest because it focuses on the communities that are vital to the region’s traditional fashion, cultures, and shared heritage.

The first TENUN Fashion Week was held online from October 15 to 17, 2021, and featured fashion video presentations, panel discussions, and other activities.

This celebration of craftsmanship featured 45 weaving communities from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, each representing a different weaving tradition such as ikat, supplemental weaving, twining, and tablet-weaving, as well as materials including locally grown cotton, silk, hemp, abaca, pina, and doyo.

On December 3, 2021, at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, a live runway show featuring 36 of these communities was staged.

The collections at The Shoppes at Four Seasons Place, Kuala Lumpur are available until the end of July this year.

List of weaving communities

  1. Kampung Pulau Keladi Weavers, with Bill Keith (MYS)
  2. Kei Khmer Textile Community (CMB)
  3. Kmana Concept Brand, with the weavers of Nusa Penida (IND)
  4. Lucy’s Batik, with the weavers of Tuban (IND)
  5. Rumah Rakuji, with Tunas Mekar Batubura (IND)
  6. Rurungan Sa Tubod Foundation (PHP)
  7. Torajamelo (IND)
  8. Sekar Kawung Foundation (IND)
  9. Tohsang Cotton Village (THD)
  10. ASSPUK (IND)
  11. Colorsilk (CMB)
  12. Mulberries (LAO)
  13. Center for Culture and Development, Netherlands (CCD-NL) (IND)
  14. Tanoti (MYS)
  15. Boru, with the weavers of Jepara (IND)
  16. Katu Village of Houyhoun (LAO)
  17. Sorha Nauli, with the weavers of Papande (IND)
  18. Rumah Rakuji, with the Palu’e Weavers (IND)
  19. Rumah Gare, with Edric Ong (MYS)
  20. Rumah Richard, with Melinda Omar (MYS)
  21. Traditional Weaving Network Central Vietnam (VNM)
  22. Matesai (LAO)

For further details, check out the website and social media www.tenunfashionweek.com, @tenunfashionweek or contact Richard Tsen at 019-9617277.

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