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Note To Collectors (Part 3)

Taking Care of Songket

Songket must be properly stored to protect the fabric from the many factors that could caused its degradation. The storage options depends on the size of the songket and storage space availability. Routine inspection should be carried out to make sure it is free from dirt and pest. Ideally, storage area must be clean, dark and dry, with ample of breathing space.

Rolled Storage
For long term keeping, Songket sarongs, is best rolled using a tube with acid-free tissue lining in between. Make sure the tube is longer than the fabric to avoid each textile ends to come in contact. To roll a Songket, place the piece on a flat, clean surface. Smooth out any bulges or creases. Place the tube parallel to the warp threads. Interleaved each layer with acid free paper or washed cotton cloth. Roll gently with the right side inward. When rolling Songket with fringes, cut acid free paper wide enough and fold in half over the fringes. Keep the rolled Songket in a pre-washed muslin pouch. Avoid rolling too tight as creases would form. Label the Songket with details such as its brief description, the year it was woven and the master weaver whom created it.

Flat Storage

Storing a Songket piece flat on top of each other may not be suitable for Songket sarong due to its size. Table runners, placemats and could be stacked and kept in a box lined with acid-free paper. Other flat storage system include drawers and custom shelves. It is important to make sure the storage unit surface does not adversely affect the Songket textile. Always line the storage surfaces with pre-washed muslin or acid-free paper.

Folding & Hanging
Avoid folding Songket for too long. The gold thread may break and causes the Songket to have permanent folding effect. Songket costume could be hanged if it is not too heavy. Avoid using iron hangers as it could get rusty and stain the textile. Wooded broad padded hanger helps minimize fiber damage. Finally cover the garment with pre-washed muslin bag and hang where there is enough breathing space.

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