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The Tailors of Kee Ann Road, Malacca

Explore this hidden and fading cluster of tailors and sewing shops in the heart of Kampung Jawa, Malacca.

Tailors of Kee Ann Road Malacca. Elina Tailor and Tukang Jahit Miya.

Malacca’s Kee Ann Road, or Jalan Kee Ann, is a road that runs in the heart of Kampung Jawa, Malacca, and is rich in history and culture. While still a busy road today, many businesses along it have flourished and withered over the decades, leaving behind certain traces that hint on past glitz and glory. One such trace is the old cluster of tailors and sewing shops obscured behind bamboo blinds and a plain façade.

Kee Ann Road tailors building facade.
No signage to indicate that tailors and sewing shops are available inside this building.

Kee Ann Road tailor shop front with bamboo blinds.
Business signage concealed behind bamboo blinds.

Side door assess to the cluster of tailors on Kee Ann Road Malacca
The side door access into the dim alleys.

From the outside, it is easy to miss the dim and narrow alleys that navigate through the tiny shop lots, many of which are now vacant but have once been the venues of unending whirring sewing machines and scissors slicing through fabrics. All that is left now is a handful of shops that will continue to exist for only as long as their ageing occupants remain sewing.

The furnishing and equipment reflect the era during which business was at its peak. It is as if time has forgotten this place and the people inside carried on with their activities, oblivious to the development outside those collapsible shutters. Here, you will see not only old equipment, but also witness them being used to make a living. It is also rather ironic that what younger folks see as rare and prized vintage items, are common everyday items to these tailors.

It’s a pity that this place has come down to just a few shops remaining in business. Its golden days have gone unrecorded and now exist only in the recollection of the generation who lived through them. It is only a matter of time before this generation leaves us, taking along with them those treasured memories.

To read more on the history of Kee Ann Road, click here.

If you happened to be nearby and wish to visit, here is the location:

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