Interact SMKSS

Noor Arfa Craft Complex Visit


           On the 31st of March 2009, the Interact Club of SMK Sultan Sulaiman held a visit to Nor Arfa Craft Complex situated in Chendering, Kuala Terengganu, which is about 10 minutes drive from our school. Mdm. Julaiha, a teacher from our school, 33 Interactors and both of our teacher advisers, namely Mdm. Wan Ah Chooi and Mr. Mohan Raj joined this visit to NACC.            

              The objectives of this activity are to widen knowledge of Interactors, besides exposing Interactors to the traditional Malay culture, which includes batik printing.

             This activity started when all Interactors gathered beside the school bus garage for a short briefing by the President on the do’s and don’ts during this activity. By 2:30p.m., all Interactors present boarded the school bus and arrived at our destination, NACC at 2:38p.m.

            In big groups, we were brought to witness the traditional Malay “songket” weaving, not by machine, but hand-woven using equipment called “kei”. Amazingly, a silk woven “songket” may reach up to RM1000.00. We learnt that in a day, a weaver manages to weave about 3 inches of “songket” and to complete a “songket”, it’ll take a period of about 3 months. This is a very long time and one needs patience, hard work and skills to do it.

            After that, we were shown the printing of “batik” using the stamping technique. Blocks of design are dipped into mixture of wax and dammar gum or resin before being stamped onto a cloth. The printed cloth will then be soaked in warm water to remove the wax for colouring later on. In Malay, this batik is called the “batik cop”.

            Another type of batik will be the “batik lukis” where one will draw designs on a plain coloured cloth with equipment called “canting” in Malay. The designs are drawn according to the creativity of that person without any outlines to be followed. The drawings are done with freehand and wax as ink.

            We then went to the handicraft side and witnessed the plaiting of baskets, small boxes and many other products. Skills and memory are highly needed as just a single wrong plait may spoil the design. Interactors were also in time to see the making of alphabets, shapes and decorations using glass rods heated under strong flames and shaped into attractive items.

            Next, we visited the gallery or more likely a shopping complex where visitors have the chances to buy souvenirs and clothes which are all solely products of Nor Arfa. We spent about half an hour in the gallery and teachers along with some Interactors did buy few things from NACC. After that, the Interactors have some leisure time feeding fishes there.

            We departed from NACC at 4:00p.m. By 4:15p.m., all Interactors were dismissed and were allowed to return to their homes. This trip was surely an eye-opening experience for all.