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Vagabond Kids: Kuala Lumpur with Kids: Kraf Kompleks

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kuala Lumpur with Kids: Kraf Kompleks

Checking out the Painting

Hidden down a side street on a lane now filled with the din and confusion of construction a gem lies waiting for discovery. Wind your way down the street avoiding the trucks and potholes following the signs that mark the way to the Kraf Kompleks (Craft Complex. Most tourists never make it here because it is a bit out of the way, which is a shame really because for an afternoon away from the crowds with activities that are fun for kids and adults alike, the Craft Complex is a real treat.

While the center features most traditional Malay crafts, including pottery, shadow puppets, beading and weaving, the highlight and the one I have always found to be open (the other stalls seem to be hit and miss) is the Batik painting. Batik painting at the Craft Complex is the real deal, you pick the image you want to paint, you chose either silk or cotton fabric and then the staff prepares the wax and image for you.

Batik Painting

Some Batik paintings come with pre-waxed images that you then color in the space in between. At the Craft Complex, you can do it either way, but it is much more fun to actually pick your image, trace it and then have it waxed. Once you have your trace done, the artisans at the center will apply the wax for you using a canting and once the wax is cool (about 5 minutes) you then paint on the fabric and watch the colors melt and blend into each other.

The wax acts as a resist and as soon as it is melted off the outline will remain. The ladies at the Kraft Complex will the prepare the final product for you, mat your painting for you and as little as 2 hours from start to finish at a cost of less than $15 US you have your own Batik masterpiece.

Batik Painting, Kuala Lumpur

The Vagabond Kids love the Craft Complex and painting Batik and it is always a highlight of our trips to Kuala Lumpur. Usually on weekdays we go mid morning and find we are some of the only people in the area (it does tend to fill up with School Kids on certain days in the afternoon).

I know, based on friends that live in KL, the Craft Complex can also arrange for you to have a private party if you live in KL and they have told me birthday parties featuring Batik Painting are always a hit! If traveling with kids in Malaysia, this is one stop you should add to your itinerary.

The Kraft Complex can be found here (Make sure you click on the English option)

63 Jalan Conlay (Behind Chulan Square and next door to the Prince Hotel)

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