Bali Trip: The Before and After

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.
Some Balinese cows on our walk to the factory
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.
Fabrics laying in the field
Fabric bunched up and sprinkled with salt
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.
Some of the many traps
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 conditions.
Lynn stamping her fabric

The workers had us spread out the fabric and then they dipped the tjap into the vat of bubbling hot wax.  They shook the excess wax off, and then helped us line up the stamp.  We used the stamp twice before dipping in the wax again and filled up the rest of the fabric the same way.

My mom stamping her fabric
My stamped pieces of fabric
After we were all done stamping, we picked one of four colours to have the fabric dyed.  The workers  chucked the fabric into the dye and then hung it up on hooks to dry.
Dyed fabric drying
We didn't see the last step, but after the dye set they boiled the fabric to remove the wax.  This left the stamped parts white while the rest of the fabric was the dyed colour.
More fabric drying in the fields
After lunch in Denpasar, we walked down the busy street to some amazing fabric shops.  There were two shops with some great batik fabrics for less than $2 USD per meter and another shop farther down with some beautiful Indonesian Batik sarongs.  Our tour group of twenty-two spent hours and hours shopping, making multiple trips back and forth to the bus to stash our spoils.  We were all thoroughly exhausted (and broke!) on the drive back to the hotel that night.
Shelves full of pretty, and cheap! fabric
A pretty shop full of fabric
Some carry their fabric in bags, some carry their goods on their head...


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