During the Peranakan days, it was a trend for the nyonyas to wear beaded shoes. Most of them learn to sew it themselves and they work with the tiny colourful size beads known as the manek potong. Sewing a pair of beaded shoe is time consuming. From my experience it is tedious and can be strenuous on the eyes too. Nowadays those sold in the shops are usually made up of the larger size beads which are cheaper and easier to work with.For all my beads handy craft work, I prefer to use the smallest size beads because the finishing product looks more elegant. To start off, I have to choose a design, colour of the beads, specified needles, thread and a frame. The frame is require to hold the cloth tightly which makes sewing much more easier.

The photo below shows the design of  bird and flowers which is from the nyonya era. The colour for the beads are chosen according to the theme. It took me three months to complete it. I have yet to make it into a pair of shoes which can be easily done in the famous Hong Kong Shoe store located in Lebuh Muntri.

Below are modern design bead work tops/cover which were already made into shoes. The shoes in the center and left photos were made using the smaller beads, while the pair on the right uses the larger size beads.

Bead works handy craft can also be made into pouches – for storing hand phone, tissue and even card holder. Some designs can be frame up and hang on the wall too. Will blog more on these in the coming days…..

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 5th, 2007 at 11:54 am and is filed under Beads, Handicraft, Nyonya Cuisine, Penang, Peranakan Cuisine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 comments so far


WAh………..Friend………such TALENTS and CREATIVITY~!! Beautiful work of Art~!


September 11th, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Now i know…. my birthday gift . :)

cariso´s last blog post..????? (Conches Soup)

November 12th, 2008 at 10:45 pm


CAN i HAVE THE ADD AND TEL FOR Hong Kong Shoe store located in Lebuh Muntri.PLEASE..THANK YOU

February 25th, 2009 at 10:14 am

thee – Do check your email…have all the particulars for you.

February 25th, 2009 at 1:34 pm

wow …good work…can teach me and tell me where you get your patterns and materials

April 6th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Caroline – I got all my materials from two shops in Georgetown. Try visiting the SSL in Rangoon Road (left hand side) and the other in Penang Road (opposite Kek Seng coffee shop).

All the starting kit with choices of patterns can be found in the Penang road outlet. They will provide coaching and advice when you buy your materials from them.

April 7th, 2009 at 10:09 am
ria grand

I come to Penang for 4 months every year and have visited both the 2 shops you mentioned earlier
I was taught by Irene in Sin Seng Lee 515/7 Penang Road, If you have done cross stitch before , it is the same except with beads . I brought my beads , frame, and pattern , and went off to make my shoes, I managed to make 2 pair 1 closed toes , and 1 open toes. but this is where it all went wrong , the store recommended a local shoe maker, and he ruined my shoes, I was heartbroken, the heels were outdated and the trimming were all Cheap Plastic. they looked terrible , I was told he was the best shoemaker Penang had to offer, In the end I gave both pairs away as I certainly would not have worn them . this year when I returned I have been collecting the manek potong beads as I plan to have another attempt, but whether I have them made up or not is another matter. Wished my father was alive he was a shoemaker and would have done a wonderful job. I later noticed in the shop were I got my lessons all of their displayed shoes are also trimmed with Plastic, why would anyone choses to spoil all their work, I do not understand. If anyone knows of a better shoemaker in Penang , and also where I can buy the real manek potong beads please let me know
Ria ( United Kingdom)

May 28th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Hi i’m just wondering where can i buy a pair of beaded nyonya slipper in Penang. I like to collect it if they have nice pattern. Thanks!

November 19th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Hello, i will be heading to penang this thursday and i would like shop for a pair nice, and trendy pair of Kasut Manek for my niece .. any recommandation?

April 25th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I am very late joining this conversation. I am curious, regarding these shops in Penang, do you buy the pattern and beads separately? do you remember how much it was to start a covered shoes? thank you.

April 19th, 2012 at 10:54 pm


I am headed to Penang tomorrow and was wondering if you could give me the details of the shop that sells the patterns, beads and materials for sewing the beaded slippers?


CK Lam Reply:

All the materials are available from two shops in Georgetown. Try visiting the SSL in Rangoon Road and the other in Penang Road (opposite Kek Seng coffee shop).

September 27th, 2012 at 10:44 am

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin