My Journey to Indonesia

I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Indonesia. The trip was in two parts. First I visited the company in Solo that is printing my batik collections. I was able to see the entire process from start to finish. Everything is done by hand and it is amazing to watch the process. I came away in awe that we pay so little per yard for the amount of labor that goes into each pattern.

The second part of my journey was spent in Bali. Jim West the founder of the tour company “Sew Many Places” asked me to be the guest quilter on his Bali tour. It was spectacular. Jim certainly knows how to run a tour. We stayed in a first class resort and took day trips from there. We did lots of sight seeing, sewing and eating the delicious Indonesian food! Here are a few photos I’d like to share from my trip.

Did you know?

  • Indonesia is made up of a series of islands. Each Island has it own language and many sub languages and dialects. In fact there are more than 700 living languages spoken in the country. Other than Indonesian (the official language) the next most used is Javanese and then Sudanese.
  • The art of batik making in Indonesia was developed on the island of Java. When selecting the name for my batik collection, I chose the word malam, the Javanese word for wax. This was confusing to some people because malam is also a word in the Indonesian language that means night.
  • In the process of batik making:
  1. The cloth is dyed one or more colors.
  2. Next the cap (pronounced chop) is dipped into melted wax and then pressed onto the fabric.  The cap is made from copper and it takes anywhere from 10 days to a month to create the cap.
  3. After the wax is stamped onto the fabric, the cloth is bleached. The places where there is wax will not bleach and will retain the color of the original dye.
  4. Then the cloth is again dyed the desired color for the background to the cap design.
  5. The fabric is then boiled to melt and remove the wax.
  6. Finally it will be sent to the “finishing” facility to go through the process of setting the dyes.
  7. The cloth is dyed one or more colors.

Happy Quilting!