•  #ArtForLifeFeaturedPlay & Make • March 2019  •

16-17th Feb, 2019

Pulau Keladi Cultural Complex, Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia

The one thing I didn’t get to do while working in corporate was attend arty workshops. So one of the first things I did fresh “out of the cave” was to sign up to one! The universe does provide and as it turned out my own mother, Fatimah Ismail  organised an international natural dyes workshop on behalf of the Royal Tenun Pahang Foundation (Yayasan Tenun Pahang Diraja) in Pahang. Lucky me! Not only that, she asked me to write her speech so I have taken the major points to share here!


For creative individuals to become innovative with knowledge & self enhancement.

For both the young generation  & old generation to exchange knowledge & experience

For experts around the world to share their knowledge, thus bridging the ASEAN community by introducing new techniques and the use of natural ingredients.

I was most excited to know that I would be exposed to not only local but international natural dye practices from India, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia!

International experts:

Creative Bee, Hyderabad, India Mr & Mrs Kandru

KHANG, Vientiane, Laos Vienghkam & Peter Livermore

Griya Batik Mas, Pekalongan, Indonesia Pak Lukman Hakim 

Ban Rai Jai Sook, Chiang Mai, Thailand Dr. Pimlada & Nussara

Malaysian experts:

Aziz Awang, Kelantan, Malaysia

Asma Binti Abdullah (Chomel), Melaka, Malaysia

Ummi Junnid (Dunia Motif), Selangor, Malaysia

Jabatan Penjara Malaysia, Pahang, Malaysia

Institute Kraf Negara (IKN), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

What are natural Dyes?

Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals.

Natural dyes are safer biodegradable, non-toxic and non-allergic.

They do not contain chemicals harmful to health. As such products are healthier and more reliable than the chemical synthetic dyes.

I learned so much in that 2-day workshop –  harvesting the right plants the right time, making the dye, prepping fabric, fabric trying techniques, dying &  fixing fabric. The process is slow and requires patience, artistry & some basic chemistry understanding

The result of your dying efforts make you appreciate fabric on a whole new level. It makes you think about clothing and the privilege of wearing color.  I am now a fan of ECO-TEXTILES  & would love to see what I can do in this area for you. I leave you an excerpt from my mother about eco-textiles. Just for you to mull over. 🙂

The textile industry is considered as the most ecologically harmful industry in the world. The Eco-problems in textile industry occur during some production processes and are carried forward right to the finished product. In the production process like bleaching and then dyeing, the subsequent fabric makes a toxin that swells into our ecosystem. Therefore the need for eco-textiles is felt. – Fatimah Ismail, Masters, Fibers Arts 


I am inspired to make a workshop here in KL, just to share all this again…. Stay tuned!