KUALA LUMPUR: Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah graced the launch of the Back To Nature programme at Pavilion Bukit Jalil near here.

Malaysian Creative Sewing Arts Association (PSJKM) chairman Fully Chye Goet Lee and its adviser Datuk Isham Ishak, who is also Transport Ministry secretary-general, were on hand to greet the Queen when she arrived at 11.05am yesterday.

Apart from visiting the sales and exhibition booths, Tunku Azizah also tried her hand at eco-printing, the process of transferring colours from plants onto fabric.

Chye said that based on Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) reports, the value of exports and imports of the country’s textile and clothing products exceeded RM28bil yearly.

“As this shows that the demand for textile products is very high, efforts must be made to train and guide association participants to enable them to enter this market and to help increase their income.

“The responsibility of art associations is not only to train skilled participants to develop products.

“Their bigger role is to teach participants how they can improve their quality of life with the learnt skills,” she said in her speech at the launching ceremony.

The programme, which was organised to promote the use of natural dyes obtained from plants and natural resources in fabric production as well as to reduce the use of synthetic dyes in the industry, was also aimed at getting entrepreneurs to produce eco-friendly products.

According to Bernama, the programme, which started on Saturday, will be held for nine days.

It will feature 50 sales booths set up by PSJKM and the Koperasi Dagang Seni Malaysia craft community, consisting of housewives, underprivileged individuals, people with disabilities and the Orang Asli community.