One of the dying trades of Malacca is the Peranakan beaded shoes. This is because sewing of the beads is a skill that not many have mastered. It is time consuming and even a simple design may require at least three days, eight hours of sewing a day.
One of the top makers of Peranakan shoes is award-winner Lim Tian Seng. He and his wife run a shoe shop along Temple Street (Jalan Tokong). My friends and I paid them a visit one hot afternoon, to try to see how the sewing of the beads is done. One certainly needs plenty of patience, good eyesight and a steady hand for the back-breaking work!
In 2012, Lim was conferred the National Craft Award and UNESCO Seals of Excellence For Handicrafts. These recognitions have certainly propelled him into the limelight.
Depending on the complexity of the design, a pair of Peranakan beaded shoes at this shop is sold from RM180. Not so expensive when you think about it. A pair of well-made shoes can last for generations! All it needs is a little maintenance now and then!
T.S. Lim Trading
Add: 63, Jalan Tokong, 75200 Malacca.
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