Sarawak woven handicrafts are crafts of functional and aesthetic value being weaved from a variety of substance resources found in the Jungle of Sarawak.
These crafts are made by weaving thin strips of eco-friendly material being harvested from nearby forest....swamp and jungle.
The pattern and the motive found on the crafts differ from each community being influenced by their belief...custom and their surrounding. The type of material preferred by the weavers also influenced the quality of the finish products.
These raw materials are harvest..cut into workable strip...dry...sometime dyed and woven into baskets...sleeping mats...storage containers and shopping bags among others.
The most commonly used raw material for this woven crafts are rattan...bamboo...mengkuang...benbam...pandanus and also fabric.
Rattan is the most popular and the preferred choice of material due to it durability...lightweight and to a certain extent its flexibility. There are variety of rattan that are being used for making sleeping mats...baskets...storage containers and also furniture.
The Bidayuh community preferred the strong and durable segeh emas rattan which are cut into thin workable strips. This dried rattan strips are woven into intricate and fanciful designs mats. This kasah is use for drying farm produce...floor covering and also for sleeping.
This community also weaved the thin strips of rattan into baskets...storage containers and other functional items that are used daily in their daily life.
The Iban community preferred rattan to produce most of their handicrafts like baskets...sleeping mats and other functional items in and around the house.
Other ethnic community that used rattan to produce useful crafts like sleeping mats....baskets and storage containers are the Orang Ulu Community and the Penan
Bamboo is easily available in the nearby forest of Sarawak Villages. This bamboo is very versatile materials which could be use for flooring, wall and kitchen utensils. Sarawak various ethnic artisan utilized various types of bamboo to produce various kind of handicrafts which are being used daily around the house.
The artisan choose the suitable bamboo type for the desired crafts. Once the choice is made...the bamboo are cut into the desired length which are then split into thin workable strips. These strips are dry...dyed and then woven into sleeping mats...baskets...lidded storage containers and other decorative crafts.
The finished crafts are beautiful with nature motive design. The motive and design of these bamboo woven crafts are being influenced by artisan beliefs...customs and tradition.
Mengkuang or screwpine leaves are also preferred by Sarawak Multi-ethnic weavers. This plant could be found along the mangrove forest and also the local jungles. The leaves of the mengkuang are collected...cut into long thin strands...dried...dyed and woven into colourful mats...baskets and containers.
Mengkuang pliability and strength enables it to be woven into unique and eye-catching crafts with interesting shaped of baskets...purses and hats among others.
Besides the mengkuang...pandanus leaves are also being used.
The pandanus plant which grows mainly along the coast are also use to make colourful mats...baskets and containers. The leaves of this pandanus are collected and cut into workable strand...dried...dyed and then woven into beautiful and colourful handicrafts.
Bemban which are aplenty grown by the river are also another raw
material that are being woven into beautiful handicrafts by Sarawak
The bemban plant are collected...cut into suitable length and split into thin strips. They are then dry before being woven into baskets...mats and other suitable handicrafts.
Bemban which is softer than rattan but stronger than pandanus make it very pliable and easier to be woven into variety of styles and colours. The bemban ai which is less rigid is being used to make sleeping mat and bemban fabric for shaping into shopping baskets...purses and also hand bags.
Sarawak ethnic community mainly the Iban and the Malay also produce handicrafts from individually dyed thread into fabric. The Iban weavers produced beautiful Pua Kumbu.....
and the Malay produce Kain Songket.
These woven handicrafts by Sarawak multiracial community are easily available from handicraft...souvenir shops and handicraft centre in the major city and town in Sarawak.
They are also available at the weekend market... night market and border market in Sarawak. The Sarawak Craft Council promotes Sarawak ethnic handicrafts and at the same time preserve a priceless artistic heritage and to improve the artisan livelihood.
Click on Sarawak Woven Handicrafts back to Sarawak Handicraft Products.