During a recent visit to Singapore, one of the team at Hawthorne & Heaney took a sight detour off the tourist trail and visited one of the Peranakan Embroidery heritage boutiques in the suburbs. This small street houses a couple of shops in which they are keeping the more traditional embroidery techniques of the region alive. One such place is called Rumah Bebe which is lovely in itself as it is covered in patterned tiles and gilded woodwork. They house a wide range of Nyonya garments such as sarongs, embroidered jackets and beaded shoes. As is fitting to the work that has gone into them, the pieces are quite pricey, but well worth it for how lovely they are.
Kim Choo Kueh Chang is also next door where you can sample traditional Nyonya cakes from the cafe downstairs made with coconut, condensed milk and pandan leaves which gives them a bright green colour. They have a little shop of trinkets but upstairs is where you will find the best bits as they have a range of embroidered pieces which line the walls and a variety of vintage items on diplay in their exhibition. They explain a little of how the embroidery is intergral to the wedding services of the culture with the examples around for context.
A personal favourite had to be this part completed design, still on the frame which demonstrates a little of the technique that is used to create these pieces and the scale of the beads that form the designs.
To see more of what they have to offer, visit their websites above or watch the video below for a glimpse of the action.