PT Studio Songket Palantaloom

Arts Centre in Bukittinggi

Handicraft and textile fans should not miss this place near Simpang Bukit Batabuah, 7km southeast of Bukittinggi. Dedicated to revitalising the traditional Minangkabau art of weaving songket (silver- or gold-threaded cloth), the studio has trained young weavers (aged 18 to 28) in the art of producing Sumatra’s finest. Phone ahead, and catch a yellow opelet from the Aur Kuning bus terminal to Batu Taba (4500Rp), getting off at the SMKN1 (high school).

Otherwise a taxi here is 80,000Rp (or less with Grab or Go-Jek online taxis).

This project was begun in 2005 by a Swiss architect who’d spent years studying songkets. Replicas of heritage songkets based on antique cloths in museums and contemporary updates are both woven here. The gold and silver thread used is the finest possible, ordered from India rather than Singapore. You can visit the studio and watch weavers at work and purchase these extremely high-quality weavings.