Tekat is the Malay name given to the technique of decorating textile panels (usually velvet) with thickly applied hold thread decoration. When the thread is applied by couching, the technique is then known as tekat timbul or tekat suji.
The striking pair here are rectangular and comprise couched gold thread on pink velvet backgrounds. The decoration shows significant Chinese influence whilst adhering to Islamic precepts. The use of pink and hold is unusual.
The panels were intended to be added to the end of a long, stiff, rectangular bolster that would have adorned a wedding bed. (A photograph taken in February 2017 of such a wedding bed, in Malaysia’s National Museum in Kuala Lumper, appears below.)
The two panels are in excellent condition. It is likely that they were never used. For display purposes, such panels often are framed behind glass today.
Ismail, M.S.Z., et al., Muzium Tekstil Negara/National Textile Museum, Department of Museums Malaysia, 2012.
Uda, Y.M.R.D.P. Fuziah Raja Tun et al., Tradition & Continuity: Woven and Decorated Textiles of the Malay Peninsula, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, 2013.