The Hasanah Gold Threads Awards 2024 celebrates local artisans and traditional textiles

The revival of the past


By Benedict Unang

Featured images courtesy of Hasanah Gold Threads
The Hasanah Gold Threads Awards 2024 celebrates local artisans and traditional textiles

Malaysia is a treasure trove of traditional textiles, each telling a story of culture and heritage. From the regal elegance of Songket weaving to the intricate beauty of Pua Kumbu patterns, these fabrics embody the very essence of Malaysian identity. Celebrating these distinctive materials isn’t just about preserving the past; it’s also about honouring the artisans and communities who tirelessly keep the age-old tradition alive. In recognition of this cultural richness, Yayasan Hasanah proudly shoulders the responsibility with the Hasanah Gold Thread Awards (HGTA) 2024 competition.

HGTA was founded to recognise and celebrate the local talents dedicated to preserving and promoting heritage textiles. It serves as a platform to facilitate the passing of traditional knowledge and skills from one generation to another, ensuring the continuation of cultural practices. In its inaugural edition in 2023, the awards drew in 168 entries from textile artisans spanning all ages and regions of the country. Among the submissions, 18 Malaysian textiles were honoured, with a special recognition conferred through the Hasanah Gold Award ‘Patron of Malaysia’s Heritage Textiles’. This esteemed accolade was presented by Her Majesty Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandarian binti Almarhum Al-Mutawakil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj.

Building on the success of its first-ever event last year, HGTA returns for its second edition with an even more ambitious mission: to celebrate the pinnacle of excellence and innovation in textile craftsmanship. In partnership with Tanoti Sdn Bhd and the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA), HGTA 2024 is committed to recognising artisans who go above and beyond in pushing the boundaries of heritage textiles.

Jacqueline Fong, founder of Tanoti and co-producer of the awards, shares: “As HGTA enters its second year, we’re paying close attention to what makes each entry stand out—largely looking at key aspects of excellence, authenticity, marketability, and innovation. Hence, the robust criteria would encapsulate the quality of technique and workmanship, how well it represents our cultural identity and aesthetic values, its potential to sell alongside its functionality and sustainability, and how it pushes the boundaries in design and production.”


In this edition, HGTA introduces six categories: Supplementary Weft, Ikat, Drawing and Stamping, Embroidery and Embellishment, Plaiting, and Beadwork. Each category offers two prestigious awards: Best Traditional and Best Innovative, each carrying a cash prize of RM25,000. Plus, there’s a Special Mention award with a cash prize of RM10,000 to acknowledge exceptional submission efforts.

The Best Traditional Award honours textiles in their authentic form, crafted using traditional techniques for traditional purposes. Conversely, the Best Innovative Award recognises handcrafted traditional textiles that demonstrate innovation in design, usage, or production. More importantly, HGTA 2024 extends its invitation to all Malaysian citizens aged 18 and above, as well as organisations registered in Malaysia.

Submissions are open until August 20, 2024, and the winners will be announced in an awards ceremony in September. In the meantime, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the exclusive exhibition showcasing the winning textile submissions from HGTA 2023. Located on the third floor, Pink Zone of Pavilion Bukit Jalil, admission is free and the exhibition will run until August 31, 2024.



For more information about HGTA 2024, click here.

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