Handicrafts are More than Just Knick-knacks

loading Wong Kok Leng still manages his business as a leather goods and canvas product maker and repairer at Foo Ah & Co., Lebuh Chulia.

AS AN ENTREPOT, Penang has known all manners of trade; these have ranged from dealings in textile and paper to wood, glass and metal. Often, these raw materials have been reimagined into beautiful apparel and decorative items of superior value such as dresses, shoes, belts, purses; and objects fashioned by local blacksmiths and carpenters. The uniqueness of individual handicrafts is now threatened by mass production exacerbated by technological growth spurts. The handicraft industry was a thriving value-added service for Penang’s free port, but times have since changed. Previously hampered by slow production speed, the uniqueness of individual handicrafts is now threatened by ...

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