The three-day Ikat textiles symposium themed â€˜Ties That Bindâ€™ jointly organised by the World Crafts Council Asia Pacific, Kraftangan Malaysia and Society Atelier Sarawak to see some 120 ikat textiles from 25 countries at an exhibition at Pullman Hotel at Kuching from Dec 1 to 3. At a press conference, Society Atelier Sarawak president Edric Ong said that the event would encourage the new generation to appreciate the heritage of ikat textiles. Ikat is a dyeing technique used on fabric.
The exhibition to be held in conjunction with the World Ikat Textiles Symposium 2017 will feature the best of Malaysian ikat textiles including â€˜Pua Kumbuâ€™ and â€˜Songket-Limarâ€™ as well as ikat textiles from countries such as Ivory Coast, Canada, the United States, â€˜mudmeeâ€™ of Thailand and Li ikats of Hainan, China.
The organisers had invited experts from all over the world to enlighten participants on the latest knowledge on ikat textiles. Among the speakers expected are Bina Rao from India, Dr Norwani Nawawi from Malaysia, Janet Rata Noel from Malaysia, Dr Sitthichai Smanchat from Thailand, Meechai Taesujariya from Thailand, Lucia Catanes from the Phillipines and Miyoko Kawahito from Japan.
These experts will be sharing their knowledge with the new generation coming in. Ikat textiles is part of the cultural heritage and they should preserve it or it would be lost. Apart from the symposium, they will also be having workshops that are divided into three categories namely weaving, basketry and natural dyes. The workshops will be led by prominent experts, both local and overseas.
Ong said that a dozen of weavers would be brought in from Ulu Kapit to showcase their talents during the forthcoming event.
And a group of 10 young weavers, who are mostly men, from Kanowit and Bintulu will be at the symposium to learn weaving, women were traditionally involved in weaving.
According to him, the workshops offer hands-on experience for participants and as such, students from tertiary institutions including Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Lim Kok Wing University will be sponsored to attend the event.
The exhibition will also hold a gala dinner and a fashion show where 17 designers including Sarawakian designers will be showcasing their collection.
Post-symposium, the participants will get to tour an Iban weaving longhouse Rumah Garie, Ulu Kapit and also get to witness the traditional â€˜Ngarâ€™ mordanting ceremony of cotton threads. The tour will be held from Dec 4 and 8.
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