The beauty of Indonesian cultural heritage, specifically a kind of shimmering woven fabric associated with riches and royalty, was paraded for the fashion students of the Canberra Institute of Technology to give them a bit of inspiration yesterday.
The Indonesian embassy convened a show of Songket garments displayed on eight Indonesian models specially flown in to wear the fabric described as one of the country's cultural treasures.
Songket, an elaborately patterned fabric, features metallic threads. Laborious to produce, it can take four months to produce even a small piece.
Zainal Arifin, the man they call ''The King of Songket'', was at the tertiary institute as part of the Indonesian contingent.
They call him ''the king'' because he champions the fabric in Indonesia and elsewhere in the world.
Through a translator, he explained the fabric was associated with an ancient kingdom.
He hoped young people who worked with textiles would still see the fabric as relevant.
''[We want] younger generations to love their culture and love their fabrics, especially Songket,'' he said.
The handmade fabric takes a lot of expertise to produce and is a family tradition.
The patterns vary considerably, they're limited only by the imagination of the weaver.
Though associated with the wealthy because of its cost ''it's not all about them. My main goal is to spread the heritage, the cultural heritage, to all people,'' Arifin said.