bebe sachi borneo pua
100 % cotton
Ikat design (inspired by the Pua Kumbu)
Bebe Sachi prides itself on its wearable work of art. To appreciate it better, it is always important to understand the background or origin of it first.
Malaysia is made up of 3 main parts: Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak (known as Malaysia Borneo). Malaysian Borneo, is a melting pot of people who have inhabited the island for thousands of years and intermarried with those who arrived in later waves of migration. With a varied ethnic composition comes a great diversity of cultures and religions.
The Ibans make up the majority native ethnic group in Sarawak. In Sabah, the Kadazan dusun while in Labuan (Federal Territory) are the Kedayans and the Brunei Malays. There are numerous other smaller groups each with their own unique traditional way of life, customs and traditions.
To the Iban of Sarawak, the Pua Kumbu is a sacred ceremonial and ritual textile. The word pua in Iban means 'blanket', kumbu means 'to wrap'. Together, the two words mean a 'grand blanket'. However, the pua kumbu is very seldom used as a sleeping blanket. It is reserved for the times when men and women seek an encounter with the spiritual. The weaving of an Iban textile, especially the pua kumbu, represents a deeply spiritual and socio-religious undertaking. It is considered a sacred activity that is incumbent upon every Iban woman, so as to establish her womanhood and worth in a society where gender roles are specific, and where spirituality is intrinsically linked to every aspect of daily life. As a weaver, she takes her place in the spiritual regeneration of the traditional values and religious norms of her people.
Weaving in Sabah has not had as much exposure compared to the Iban textile. Most hand-woven textiles in Sabah are not readily sold in the market. The Kadazans produce a black sarong interwoven with vertical and cross-wise strips similar to the Filipino styled langkit.
Our love for Borneo and everything it represents, has inspired us to produce these beautiful wraps. You may find similarities of pua kumbu to the ikat or tie dye methods from other parts of Asia. The patterns are created by selectively dyeing the warp threads prior to weaving. This is also known as resist dyeing. The word "ikat" comes from the Malay-Indonesian word for "tie". Asia has several cultural regions with a particularly strong ikat tradition. Maritime Southeast Asia, India, and Central Asia are all potential candidates for the origin of the technique, but it may also have evolved independently in several locations.
We have been truly blessed and humbled to be working with experienced master weavers and dye masters in our work with the artisans. For the two designs - Indigo Jati and Pua we worked with a Dye master with over 30 years experience and weavers with over 25 years experience. At first look, you may think that Indigo Jati uses an ikat technique but no, our genius dye master had the design all in his head while he took up the challenge of tie dyeing the yarns first and then passing it on to our master weaver who then produced this masterpiece.