National Textile Museum, KL

Since I was in the vicinity of Independence Square last school holiday (I visited KL Children’s Library and KL City Gallery), I took the chance to bring my son and nephew to visit the National Textile Museum. Well, it think it was more of me taking the chance. I love looking at textile and thought I go and educate myself on the history of textiles.

The National Textile Museum is located in a building  formerly the Federated Malay States Railway Station built in 1905. It was conserved and refurbished as museum on 2007.

The museum explores the rich diversity of the peoples of Malaysia and traces the development and trend of textiles that have characterised and shaped the lifestyle of Malaysians as early as the pre-historic era right up to the modern time. Upon entering the museum on the ground floor we visited two galleries: Gallery Pelangi and Gallery Pohon Budi. Gallery Pelangi traces the Malaysia’s textile evolution and exhibits selected heritage collection of batiks (block prints, tie-dye and hand drawn), Baba & Nyonya textile, Sarawak textile and India textile.

Textile on display.

1. Wooden block with floral motif. | 2. Relak nuts – a traditional material used in washing the cloth to be calendered so that the cloth will smell fragrant.

Gallery Pohon Budi showcases the origins of textiles from the pre-historic time as well as its growth through trade. Also exhibited are tools, materials and techniques of textile-making processes of weaving, embroidery, batik-printing and many more. There are also videos showing the process and I actually felt pretty proud because my husband was one of the person involved in the making of the videos.

Before we could climb the stairs to see exhibits in other galleries, Yassin and Danial were already tired. So we skipped the upper part of the museum and promised to come back and continue. It was really tiring as we were out as early as  9.30am up until 1pm. We took a bus to KL as my car was in a workshop due to a minor accident. We had heavy breakfast at 10am at Secret Recipe’s, Central Market.

Overall, we had a great time reading the print exhibits and learning the history of textiles and how textiles were made. One of the things we learned that the checkered Pelikat sarong was brought from Port of Pulicat, India during Melaka’s heyday as prominent trading center in the 15th century. I always love the feeling of getting ‘richer’ with information when visiting museums. Do you feel that way?

For those who like to visit the National Textile Museum, opening time is from 9.00am to 6pm daily. It will on be closed on first day of Eid’ul Fitri and Eid’ul Adha. Admission is free. Free guided tours are available upon request. You need to call for reservation for groups and schools.

National Textile Museum
26, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
50050 KL.
Tel: +603-26943457/3461


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