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Showing posts from September, 2015

Bali Trip: Ikat Weaving Village and Bat Cave Temple

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The next day of our tour was a free day, but there was an optional tour to Tenganan, a weaving village, that we decided to go on.  We started with a bus drive up the coast and past some really pretty mountains. We stopped along the way to watch a traditional ceremony along the beach also. Tenganan was a very traditional village that is one of three places in the world that does the double Ikat method of weaving.  They dye the thread using only three natural colours and the thread is woven using a back strap frame.  It is a very meticulous process and we were fortunate to have the Chief of the village walk us through the steps.  It gets the double Ikat name because both the horizontal and vertical threads are dyed in the pattern so precision is critical.  After learning about the weaving, we wandered around the village exploring all the sights and sounds.  There were several artists selling things they had made and funny coloured chickens scattered around.
 Then we headed to lunch on the b…

Bali Trip: The Before and After

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The following day we went to a Batik factory to make our own batiks.  Our giant bus stopped in the middle of a busy street and we jumped off and boarded to smaller buses.  They took us down a bumpy dirt road to an area with a bunch of shacks and a couple large fiends of grass. The first field we passed had several rolls of fabric laid out to dry.  Some of it was spread out and some of it was bunched up.  The bunched up stuff had salt sprinkled on it to bleach some spots with the sun. At the huts, we were each given two pieces of white fabric and told to choose a tjap.  The traps were hanging all over the rafters, there were hundreds to pick from. It was hot and humid in the huts, and most of the workers were wearing flip flops.  It made me cringe a little to see all these guys working around the hot wax without any sort of protection.  Some of the guys were from Java or Lombak and sent their earnings back to their families.  Their job was to hand stamp 250 meters of fabric a day in these…

Bali Trip: Crafty Wednesday

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The first full day of our tour took us to a Batik factory on Tophati.  It was our first exposure to just how labor intensive making these beautiful fabrics is.  The process starts with hot wax applied to fabric.  The fabric is then dyed, and the original bits of fabric under the wax remain the original colour.  The factory we went to specialised in traditional batiks, which were typically only done in 2 or 3 colours.
 The women there were working on large pieces of art, but took some time to put intricate designs on some of our clothing.  They used a little blotter to dot the wax into a pattern, and then we could take the piece home and dye it if we chose to.  If not, the wax would come out in the wash.
 There were also a couple workers stamping fabric in the modern batik style.  The stamp is called a tjap (pronounced chop) and is made from copper to with stand the hot wax and many uses.  Then they'd take the fabric piece and dye it, then set the dye.
The factory had a shop selling …

Bali Trip: Uluwatu

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My mom and I just got back from a 10 day trip in Bali.  It was a fabric tour centered around making batiks, and after looking forward to this trip for a year and a half it didn't disappoint.  

Most of the people on the tour flew in from the states, but my mom and I flew up from Australia a day earlier.  We landed around 10 pm and once we got through customs the airport was complete chaos.  There was a swarm of drivers with signs, and at first we couldn't find our driver.  We walked out to the street and kept getting hassled by drivers asking if we needed taxis.  One guy followed us around the entire time we were looking for the driver.  Finally we found him, and with all of the people around, the late night, and the high humidity it was a big relief to be headed on the way to our hotel.
For the first half of the trip we stayed in Nusa Dua, on the south side of Bali.  The first morning we got up and explored the hotel grounds.  It was absolutely stunning, with a great big Balines…