The art of decorating fabric with ‘patched’ gold is being forgotten

The art of decorating fabric with ‘patched’ gold is being forgotten

KUALA TERENGGANU: The art of decorating fabric with gold pieces, also known as telepuk art, used to have a place in the community, especially the ‘courtiers’, but is now increasingly being forgotten.

It follows a lack of demand, and even those who venture into this field are very limited – resulting in this ancestral tradition being at risk of disappearing forever.

Once upon a time, the traditional fabric that became a symbol of the splendor of the Malay Archipelago is believed to have been brought by Bugis traders from Sulawesi, Indonesia.

This art involves the process of stamping motifs using stamps or wooden carving stamps that are embossed on various fabrics such as fine thread divination cloth, songket, before affixing gold paper on top.

Telepuk art is also famous in countries such as China, India and Japan, but there it is known as gold decoration on fabric or fabric.

According to telepuk artisan, Mohd Azwarin Ahmed, this traditional dress used to be used for official occasions in the palace but it is clear that it can now be worn by ordinary people.

“In those days the prohibition did not apply. It’s just that maybe going into the palace is not suitable for the community because it is reserved for relatives.

“That’s also a factor why it doesn’t get a response other than artisans who only have 2-3 people so it might be swallowed up by the times,” he said.

In addition to being made for clothing, the art of quilting is also used on skirts, sides and even scarves.

The price factor is also a traditional art that is losing ground because it uses pure gold pieces brought from neighboring countries.

However, this folded cloth is believed to last for hundreds of years but is very sensitive and cannot be washed, it is enough to be smoked with fragrance.

Mohd Azwarin explained, if there is no initiative to dignify the art of telepuk again, then it will be lost in time.

“In the past, traditional arts were protected by royal institutions. The palace will preserve art, fabric, architecture. I hope that the royal institution can reinvigorate this old art.

“Through this, artisans can provide an umbrella as well as encouragement for government institutions and NGOs to help together in terms of promotion, finance and skills so that we can ensure that it continues to be recognized by the community,” he claimed.

He also hopes that the current generation will continue to study and study this masterpiece of art.

source – Hafizi Rosli

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