The exquisite songket Pahang is a traditional brocade fabric that is made of intricate textile weaving using silk or cotton materials. Though as beautiful as it is, the skills and craftsmanship of this textile-making have been diminishing in recent years.
The Government of Malaysia has propelled endeavours to restore this highly prized skill by establishing the first of its kind traditional craft of textile weaving institute in Malaysia, the Institut Kemahiran Tenun Pahang Diraja. As training cum exhibition institute, the sparse layout of the complex components was based on the activities and processes involved in the fabric making.
Situated in the compound area of Pulau Keladi Cultural Village in the royal town of Pekan in Pahang, the institute is an extension of existing buildings on site, designed with the style of Malay vernacular architecture that propagates on-stilt construction and generous openings and shadings like wide overhangs and well-ventilated roofs.
Proceeded with an exhibition centre where the history and processes of songket production are being displayed, it is followed by a building that houses administrative offices and VIP facilities on the left. The first workshop block accommodates the pre-weaving activities like spinning and threading, with storage areas and a semi-open space for dyeing, washing and drying of the threads. Then, the main workshop block is where looms are placed, facilitated with movable partitions for examinations and teaching & learning purposes. An open-air platform in front of the workshop has been designed for cultural performances and craft demonstrations.