Cotton is used in many types of clothing ; be it for clothes like shirts for example or to an extreme extent used to make cars (yes , there is a car made of cotton . The Trabant 601 made in East Germany)
Anyway , anecdote aside ; cotton is used to make telekungs as well , and it seems to be the most popular choice in the make-up of the garment . That raises an interesting point , why are cotton fabrics the most preferred choice among ladies for their telekungs ?
That point may be subjective when it comes to context as there are many types of fabrics that can be used to make a telekung ; some are a better choice than others while other times certain fabrics are used because of practicality and usefulness when it comes to fabric selection for a type of garment . There are plenty of materials on offer that enable a variety of telekung to be made available .
Being light-coloured will help the light to pass through instead of being absorbed and hence the heat is not felt as much . Since telekung are designed to be loose , there will be ample of space for the air to pass through. Cotton helps in lowering significantly the severity of any allergic reaction and is perfect for those who have sensitive skin. Hence , why the choice of cotton is predominantly used and why many women prefer this fabric to be what makes up their telekung.
As mentioned in the foreword above , cotton is used as the primary source of fabric for making telekung . Made up from cotton fibre it helps out giving a cool feel through the skin especially during the hot summer times or in the case of Malaysia at the moment , El Niño . By allowing better air circulation, it helps in absorbing and removing body moisture caused by sweat. It therefore minimizes fungal breeding by keeping the body dry and cool .
There are many other types of cotton material in the market, namely:
A type of textile that has a crisp (hence the roughly translated name), rugged appearance ; and can be made up of silk , wool or even synthetic fabrics . Though dubiously associated with the passing of a person ; known as mourning , modern use of the fabric has quickly become a useful material for the making of telekungs .
The cloth itself is easily manageable and does not wrinkle . Woven from hard spun silk yarn , it is designed in a way to have a crusty appearance .
Aside from the wrinkly appearance the fabric is easy to form into any type of clothing like blouses , baju melayus for men and etc . , very comfortable and does not give the wearer any effect of heat .
The fabric comes in many forms , up their hundreds in terms of type and styles . List of the types of Crêpe can be seen here .
3. Jacquard :
A type of fabric named literally after its creator , Joseph Marie Jacquard . The fabric is intricately woven together to form patterns courtesy of the Jacquard loom as part of the Jacquard weaving process . The process has a unique flexibility of determining the woven pattern on top of the cloth .
A fabric that's both shiny and smooth , it has a very elegant appeal to those who would like their garments to have that Haute couture appearance . With limitless patterning possibilities in design , strong that it’s totally washable, reversible, durable & long lasting – not to mention dryer friendly ; makes it a very versatile fabric .
4. Lycra :
Otherwise known as spandex . Just like silk and cotton , its lightweight, comfortable, and breathable. The material also dries quickly, moisture wicking and it is easy to dye . Lycra has bacteria resistant nature, blocks ultraviolet rays and so it is used in garments like socks, swimwear, exercise clothing and leggings and telekungs as well .
Lycra comes in three forms :
Cotton Lycra Fabric: Cotton Lycra fabric is used in making shrink free shirts and tops.This material is a mix of cotton and Lycra makes a good choice for wrinkle free and sturdy shirts. It is easy to wash and maintenance is also low.
Nylon Lycra Fabric: Nylon Lycra fabric is used in making consumer products like table covers, couch covers, bags, handbags and many more products. The products made with this type of fabric lasts long and have slight shine to them. This shine makes them as party wear kind of clothes which will shine when light fall on it. This fabric is lightweight and easy to maintain.
Wool Lycra Fabric: Wool Lycra fabric used for suits and coats. This fabric has stretching qualities, the suits and coats made with this fiber do not shrink. It will fit your body and make you to appear better.
5. Silk :
A natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles . And because of this protein structure, silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics , meaning ; bacterial infection would not be present of this type fabric just like cotton . The use of silk telekung is common and it is a very popular choice second to the material of cotton .
Silk is highly absorbent and dries quickly. It can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. Silk will absorb perspiration while letting skin breathe . Silk is relatively robust and its smooth surface resists soil and odors well in spite of its delicate appearance . Silk can also take color well, washes easily, and is easy to work with in spinning, weaving, knitting, and sewing .
In terms of viability on which fabric would be number one ; silk certainly runs cotton very close .
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Written by: Amir Haziq Ammo, an intern at ZAAHARA.