The Textile Museum Sarawak in Kuching (Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia) was opened in 2005 and is housed in a magnificent colonial Baroque-style building dated 1909. It showcases some superb examples of traditional authentic Sarawakian textiles made by the main ethnic communities of Sarawak.
On display at the Textile Museum Sarawak are contemporary work of designs based on traditional weaving and design techniques, as well as traditional costumes and fashion accessories used in ceremonies. Visitors follow an exhibition flow of the stages of textile manufacturing processes, and experience how a finished product such as weaving is brought to life. They also have the opportunity to test their skills on the loom and ‘touch-on’ exhibits.
Items exposed at the Textile Museum Sarawak include Malay songket (gold brocade cloth), hats, mats, belts, basketwork, beadwork, silver-work, bark-work, bangles and ceremonial headdresses. These are created by ethnic communities of Sarawak like the Iban, Bidayuh and Penan, as well as other Dayak groups. Dioramas recreate the sartorial exuberance of Orang Ulu, Malay, Chinese and Indian weddings. Explanatory panels shed light on materials and techniques.
The architecture of the Textile Museum Sarawak building is an attraction in itself, being a combination of English renaissance and colonial theme. Rectangular in structure, the Pavilion Building, as it is known, was first constructed in 1907 as a medical center. The 3-storey building later became the headquarter of the State Education department.
The museum is located in the historical quarter of downtown Kuching and it is within walking distance from popular accommodation services in the city. Make sure you give yourself at least an hour to time your visit.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.45 pm – Saturday & Sunday 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
General admission fee: Free