Hand-woven on a back-strap loom, Pua Kumbu represent the soul of Iban culture. It is a woven mythological tale about the weaver and her affiliation with the spirit world. The weaving is considered sacred and is believed to be able to mediate between man and the spirit world when spiritual power is woven into it with its designs conceived. Although dreams according to their weaving status and are thus limited in expressions till she is spiritually matured. In Iban culture, a woman who weaved a spiritually superb Pua Kumbu would achieves a social status equivalent to that of a great warrior.
Among the three Iban Pua series identified, Pua Kumbu and Pua Karap are still available in the market with Pua Kumbu being most common. Pua Sungkit is totally unavailable in the market probably because no one is willing to go through the tedious process of its weaving journey. In fact, the function of Pua Sungkit in Iban Culture is exactly the same as Pua Kumbu, the only difference between Pua Sungkit and Pua Kumbu is the weaving technique and process during the making. However, due to its difficult making process, most Pua Sungkit are smaller in size and most of it were made into higher value items like costume where it was featured as skirt and only be worn by dancers of higher caliber during special occasion.
Pua Karap, another piece of art that is equally important within the Iban Community. If we look at the traditional Iban costume, besides the silver headgear and accessories on the head and Marik Empang (the beaded collar) down the shoulder, Kain Karap made up the rest of the costume component (the Skirt and Selampai ) . Although sometimes we do find the skirt to be in the form of Pua Kumbu and Pua Sungkit, but Kain Karap is the preferred choice as its refined weaving technique adds texture to Nangjat performances, a must in most celebrations.