Museums are among the most interesting places in Malaysia. There are numerous of them scattered all over the country, each unique from the other. No wonder, many tourists come to visit museums because it is in these places that one can learn more about the people, culture, and traditions of Malaysia.
Although most tourist attractions in Malaysia are found in the islands or away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there are still those who thrive in the fun and excitement of the city. That’s because there are many places to visit in Kuala Lumpur and the National Textile Museum is one of them.
Not Your Traditional Museum
When talking about museums, perhaps the first few things that come into your mind include ancient pottery, antique silverware, century-old books, dug up treasures and many more. Well the National Textile Museum is different because it focuses more on informing the people of the different textiles manufactured in Malaysia and how they use them in handcrafted or woven clothes, decors, ornaments, and the like. Further, the National Textile Museum is highly organized too. It is divided into four galleries, each showcasing different works of art.
The Pohon Budi Gallery
Pohon Budi is also referred to Pohon Hayat which means Tree of Life. If you want a chronological tour of the museum, this is your first stop. The gallery shows how the textile industry started in Malaysia. It also shows the first materials or tools they used a long time ago. Here you’ll see different textile manufactured in traditional manner woven into colorful sarong or skirts, scarves, and many more.
The Pelangi Gallery
Pelangi is the Malay word for rainbow and this gallery shows exactly how colorful and vibrant the designs and shades of textiles in Malaysia. The gallery boasts of textiles that come alive with colors like yellow, pink, blue, and green woven into batiks with gold embroidery and intricate bead works. Not only that but it shows the artistry of different ethnic groups and communities in Malaysia that are experts in weaving, embroidery, and the like.
The Teluk Berantai Gallery
Teluk Berantai or Interlocking Bays is a popular motif in Malaysian textiles. They’re mostly floral embroideries which are woven together to create a harmonious pattern. Once again gold embroidery is dominant in such motifs which are carefully stitched in cotton or silk. This gallery not only showcases the skills prevalent in various textiles made in Malaysia but also the unity of every hand that makes them. It is believed that these motifs are patterns have been handed down from one generation to the next, thus making it a heritage.
The Ratna Sari Gallery
Perhaps it is the Ratna Sari Gallery that houses the most expensive displays in the National Textile Museum. Here you’ll find a wide collection of jewelry particularly those made by ethnic groups as well as Chinese and Indian artisans. Bracelets, anklets, dangling earrings, crown, pendants, and even belts made of gold, copper, and colorful beads are displayed in the gallery.
With so many things to see and lessons to learn, the National Textile Museum is truly one of the best places to visit in Malaysia. The next time you run out of things to do in Kuala Lumpur, drop by the museum which is located at Jalan Sultan, Hishamudin.
The National Textile Museum speaks of Malaysian heritage that roots back to the early years long before the textile industry boomed and modern facilities were made available. Even today, many are still using the traditional ways in textile production and that’s one way for Malay artisans to keep their heritage alive. For tourists like you, dropping by the museum is one of the means to show that you also take pride in their work and this will encourage them to let their heritage live on.