Laser-cut wood buttons elevate baju Melayu style for modern men

Senitukang combines tradition with modern techniques

10 Apr 2024 09:03am
Entrepreneur creates unique baju Melayu buttons - Photo by Bernama
Entrepreneur creates unique baju Melayu buttons - Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - For men, donning the baju Melayu, whether it’s the cekak musang or teluk belanga style, on the morning of Aidilfitri seems incomplete without the accompanying buttons.

Button designs typically come in a variety of motifs, including classic shapes like daggers and domes, as well as intricate chain patterns, usually made from alloy or silver and embellished with inlaid beads and artificial gems in various colours.

As Syawal draws near, wooden buttons for the baju Melayu have emerged as the latest must-have fashion accessory, capturing the interest of people of all ages for their authentic Malay vibe, as the natural hue of wood evokes cultural nostalgia.

Speaking to Bernama, Mohd Mustafa Meharomi, founder of Senitukang, said wooden baju Melayu buttons, particularly those made using the laser cut technique have dominated sales during Ramadan and for Aidilfitri this year.

"Each set contains five buttons with intricate patterns inspired by pomegranate, cloves, and ratna flowers, attracting attention from the public for their aesthetic value and the use of stud screws.

Wooden buttons become the new baju Melayu accessory - Photo by Bernama
Wooden buttons become the new baju Melayu accessory - Photo by Bernama

"The incorporation of wooden elements in baju Melayu is a perfect match, offering a blend of modern and classic styles, unlike the overly vibrant printed buttons,” he said.

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To enhance the uniqueness and aesthetic value of the buttons, Mohd Mustafa, 30, said careful consideration is given to the choice of wood.

He said that ebony wood is used to achieve a darker shade for the buttons, while maple wood is chosen to get a brighter colour tone.

"Ebony wood, originating from Sumatra, is renowned for its hardness, durability, distinctive wood veins, and naturally dark colour, which lends a unique and authentic look to the product.

"Meanwhile,the bright natural hue of maple wood enhances its visibility, especially when it is carved using the burning technique,” he said.

When asked about how he ventured into the business, Mohd Mustafa, who co-founded Senitukang in 2019, said the idea came about while he and his friend were experimenting with wood chips and screws.

"Prior to venturing into baju Melayu button making, we were involved in crafting products such as wedding items, phone cases, cookie jars, pens and keychains. So, we have a surplus of wood chips from these products.

"I just experimented with combining wood pieces and screws, and when I noticed they resembled baju Melayu buttons, we started the production and we didn’t anticipate it would be so well-received,” he said.

Mohd Mustafa said that aside from the local market, their product has garnered interest across several ASEAN nations such as Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia, adding that this year, Senitukang introduced a new design named ‘Segara’ featuring a captivating sea wave motif.

"These products are all available at a reasonable and affordable price of RM50 per set, with an additional RM5 for those who opt for custom engraving,” he said. - BERNAMA

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