Thursday, July 4, 2013

ISEND Dye conference in Malaysia, continued

Greetings again, Fiber Friends!

Me wearing ikat-dyed jacket made in the area
Beautiful flowers all over Kuching
To continue sharing our experiences in Malaysia:  the International Symposium and Exhibition on Natural Dyes(ISEND) held in Kuching, Sarawac, in the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo, included five days of power-point presentations and poster presentations in the morning on various aspects of research and use of many unique natural dyes, many dye workshops in the afternoon, and cultural field trips or fashion show in the evenings.  Ongoing demonstrations on backstrap weaving, ikat tying, and reed and grass weaving for baskets, hats, ornaments, bookmarks, purses and more, as well as dozens of vendors selling natural-dyed textiles and more, were available all five days.

Bex in Kuching, standing in front of the
 legislative building across the river
 Following these five days of the conference, we spent four days travelling to, staying in, and returning from an indigenous Iban weaving village, deep in the Borneo jungle, during their cotton mordanting ceremony.  I'll share our experiences there in my NEXT post.

Follow are pictures of dyeplants shown during the workshops, and some poster presentations.

One of our field trips was to a local cultural museum with exhibits and demonstrations of the indigenous Iban and Sumba ikat dyers and weavers.  Following our tour of the museum, we were entertained by local musicians and dancers during our outdoor buffet of local cuisine.

Another field trip took us to an historic reenacted indigenous village, where we were again entertained by many musicians and elegant especially male dancers, while we ate at large round tables with large lazy susans in the center with a wide range of local foods from which to choose. The dancers involved the audience, and even got me up to dance the bamboo dance with them.

Bex walking across the bridge to "the village".

While still in Kuching, Bex and I, and a friend from Germany exploring the market bazaar with us, discovered a reasonably priced and excellent hair solon.  We all decided we needed a hair cut.  We also visited a local weaving studio co-owned by our host Jacquie at the Batik Boutique Hotel where we were staying.  The weavers at the studio were keeping an historic embroidery weaving technique alive using super fine silk.  The embroidery pattern is shown on the underside of the cloth is being woven.  Another picture is of the weavers rethreading a reed in yellow silk for another project.  The Studio does custom orders for important clients.  Bex and I were able to obtain some early embroidery-woven pillow covers.  (I am suddenly not able to control where the following pictures are lined up.  One other picture is of Edric Ong, the coordinator of the event.)


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Greetings Fiber Friends!

I know it's been awhile since I blogged, and then only with help, but I resolve to do better.  There's so much I would like to share with you.

First, take a trip with me to Malaysia for the International Exposition and Symposium on Natural Dyes (ISEND) and World Eco Fibers and Textiles (WEFT) in Kuching, and then to a weavers long house village deep in the jungles of Borneo for their mordanting ceremony.

My daughter Bex and I left Missouri last September, first to St. Louis, then to Newark, NJ, over Russia to Hong Kong, then to Kuching, Sarawak on the Island of Borneo. 

(Okay, have patience with me, I'm still learning this program and I'm by myself.  The pictures aren't landing where I want them, then they are jumping around and not staying where I put them, or are disappearing all together!)
Flight to Borneo
 We stayed at a wonderful, unique, "designer" hotel -- the Batik Boutique.  The co-owner Jacquie, and her manager, Jo-Lynn treated us like family and truly made our stay spectacular.  We highly recommend it if you are ever in Sarawak, Malaysia!  For example, they gave us a cell phone to use while we were there, they put on a feature movie in their courtyard for the guests to watch, they offer free full breakfasts with a stay and have full dinners available in their dining area.  They welcome guests with rice wine and cheese, and leave chocolates when they clean your room.