WEAVING PASSION AND HERITAGE
Our mengkuang products are all handmade by the artisans of HKY Collections in Terengganu, Malaysia.
Mengkuang is a spiky plant found in Malaysian jungles and coastal areas. Its fruits are edible and its leaves are ideal for weaving. It used to be a hobby for the coastal women in Malaysia during the raining season, before its commercialisation.
Unfortunately, the art of weaving mengkuang is slowly being forgotten as the new generations are not be interested in learning the technique anymore. Weaving mengkuang requires technique, patience and dedication. Here is the process:
The artisan needs to cut the mengkuang leaves using gloves because the plant has three rows of hard spikes.
She removes the spikes with a special tool consisting of a wire tied around 2 wooden stick
The leaves need to be flattened using a long and thick piece of wood before being exposed to fire to soften them.
Once the leaves are ready, they are cut into equal size fibers using a tool called "jaka".
The batch of fibers needs to dry for around three days under the sun before it can be dyed and woven.
Khadijah and her team from HKY Collections would take care of the dyeing process which requires a strong experience and understanding of colouring. They would mix various colouring powders in boiling water and soak the dry fibers in the pot.
Then, the fibers are rinsed and go under the sun to dry once more.
The fibers are now ready to be woven into beautiful products such as carpets, bags, boxes, etc.