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Friday, August 31, 2012

Batik Factory Part 3!

Screen Printing!

I’m so glad you enjoyed the past couple of factory posts. You know, I didn’t want to “homogenize” the experience. And that’s why it took me so long to figure out how I wanted to present my visit here.

I’ve been a bit disturbed by the judgemental comments from those who had never even been here.

One thing I know –to these people, this is NOT a “primitive” process – nor do they feel they are living in “primitive” conditions. Fabric batiking is being done the way it has always been done, and who are we to think that they should have “better” conditions, change the way they do things or think it is a shame they do things this way or that we are better because we have this, that, the other.

We can Not force our "WESTERN" way of doing things on another culture. Who are we to suggest that?

These people are happy! They are grateful that we love their fabrics, it is putting food in bellies and roofs over heads and education for children and braces on teeth, etc.

Those of us living a so-called “better” lifestyle ought to really step back and watch the people themselves. I know so many people in the USA, in Canada, in Europe with everything at our fingertips, and we are so BUSY BUSY BUSY and ungrateful for what we have—we could learn so much if we would quit judging other’s lives, living conditions, religious beliefs and ways of doing things.

I am amazed that these beautiful people stop 3 times a day to make offerings of gratitude. How many of us have trouble doing that once a week?

My hope is that we can continue to grow in understanding and respect one toward another without anyone saying “I can’t believe they do that, how terrible to live like that ---“ Do not judge, please! You are no better. Definitely no worse, but no one is better.

((Insert end-of-rant here!))

Along with the wax stamping --- many fabrics are screen printed. I’m sure you’ve all read on the selvage when it says ‘screen print” The screen printing here is also done by hand!

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We wound our way through the factory to the area where screen printing was being done.

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I’m sorry about the blurry photos, but I couldn’t ask them to stop and pose for me! Here, the second screen is being placed on top of the first to do the next coloring of the design.

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Things need to be lined up just right!

This is a VERY short clip of how the dye is “squeegeed” from one side to the other, it’s a two person process!

For those who commented on the roosters crowing in a previous post, here is a shot for you:

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This is where all the noise is coming from! I have fallen in love with this basket weave pattern…of course, do you see the design in the weave? Hexagons and equilateral triangles. Is this a quilt in my head? Maybe! Just maybe!

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Here I am with Ketut, the factory owner. And yes, we all wanted HIS shirt!

Do me a favor and tell me to get rid of my shirt! It’s just not the best look for me :c/ It’s voluminous and I feel pregnant in it – I suppose I look pregnant too.

By the time this posts, I should be just leaving Los Angeles for Washington, Dulles!

There are many more stores to share……

58 comments:

Anna said...

You tell them Bonnie, I agree completely. If just half of the people in this country had to actually work for a living instead of having things handed to them they would really appreciate what they have been given! They don't understand that this is not just a job for these people but a way of life and that they are so thankful for what they have.

quiltfool said...

Thanks for another great post Bonnie. I'm finding this process fascinating and would much rather own a few yards of these beautiful hand made prints than hundreds of yards of factory, machine made goods. My latest observation is that most people can't see beauty anymore. They're too busy looking down their own snotty noses. Lane

Kathaleeny said...

I haven't seen the negative comments but I'm sure they are anonymous. This has been the most amazing experience even though I didn't get to travel with you. Isn't it wonderful that there are people who respect the past and carry on their culture. I will honestly never look at a piece of batik without thinking about the hands and hearts it took to make it. Bonnie, please pay no mind to the few and know that the most of us appreciate you dearly for sharing this with us.

cityquilter grace said...

in that weather i'd wear something flowy and cool too, forget how it looks...and my only question is, we see them working on fairly small yardages, so how do we get continuous bolts of the stuff? are they done at another factory or is it another process altogether?

rondiquilts said...

Bonnie, I love your heart.
Rondi

Mollylivebearer said...

Great post Bonnie. It gives me lots of food for thought. The batiks made in Bali are world renowned and they have every right to be very proud of the beauty they produce! We pay full price for those batiks so I don't think it's the same as the sweat shops that pay the workers a bowl of rice a day to produce shirts that we buy for $8 at walmart. And I know that is a whole 'nother topic of controversy! I am amazed at this batik process and the country truly looks magical. I am so glad to see the process and learn about the culture and in the end, we all have plenty to be thankful for. Taking time 3 times a day to give thanks......that is AMAZING! As always, thank you Bonnie for your inspiration and passion! It is contagious!

Molly

Kim said...

The more I travel the more I realize how my life is just a speck of dust in the universe. It is lovely to go and learn about other cultures, realize yours is not the only one and that
many people in the world live very full lives not being Americans!
We're not the only people in the world!

Thanks for sharing this trip and all your travels, I always learn something new. ( but I still don't want animals crawling on me :0) )

Happy Sewing

sunshineannie said...

Just curious, why are the roosters kept in the basekt/cages?

Kathaleeny said...

I don't remember seeing any pictures of local women. I love the idea of wearing a sarong . How cool and comfy would that be?

Aunt Bonnie said...

So sorry to hear you have been getting negative comments. When will we "First world" people stop judging "third world" people. They have a different standard of living than we do. We should ask ourselves if they are happy? It seems so. And they are grateful not because "we" come to visit and see what they do, but for their everyday lives. More power to them. Yes, we do pay a premium price for Batiks and I don't feel bad that I DON'T shop at Walmart.
Thank you for sharing your amazing journey. It has been fun to follow along.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Bonnie for sharing your Bali experiences with us. I love batiks and will love them even more now that you have shared with us the process of how they are made. What a great trip this has been for you, again thank you for sharing with the world. I love all your posts, but have particularly enjoyed going to Bali with you. We are so lucky to have you to follow on facebook.

Anonymous said...

quiltfool (Lane), loved your comment about the "snotty noses". Very true!!
Faye in Maine

Mrs MomMegan Craftsalot said...

I had the oppurtunity to travel thru Zimbabwe and Mozambique when I was a teenager. I took a bus from Ontario canada to Florida where we flew out from. Seeing garbage, disrespect, and waste in North America was far worse than any 'poverty' I saw in Africa. People took very good care of what they had there. They were thankful and kind too. They were proud to work and provide for themselves. Too bad working hard is seen as a hardship to overcome and not a blessing. We have a dairy farm. We work hard and take care of what we have and it is a blessing. Megan
Thanks for sharing yourself on your blog. I love following your creative patterns and tips as well.

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing your trip to Bali...I loved the little videos! I think it's fascinating to see how something/anything is made. From the time I was little and went to the crayon factory to last summer when we went to the American Whistle Factory in Columbus, OH I so enjoy seeing things being made. Gosh, I wish I could've gone to Bali with you! What an awesome trip! Now I have one question...is the batik fabric they make in Bali the same as what is in quilt shops all over the US? Thanks Bonnie!

Marei said...

Amen!! Bonnie you often take the words right out of my mouth....the thoughts right out of my head. So glad you enjoyed your trip and thank you for taking us along.

Anonymous said...

I have read each of 'Bali' posts with such enjoyment...you all have had a wonderful, once in a lifetime experience. AND you have shared that wonder with all of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing such insight into the whole batik process.

On the note of those who can't do anything but bi*** about other people and how they do things, even if it is "old-fashioned", have they considered that we, as quilters, are continuing a process that is at least 300 years old!!!!! Come on people!!! Get a life that isn't full of judging others who do things differently than you do!!
OK, I am down off my soapbox now.
Thanks Bonnie for all you do for us; love your posts, no matter what part of the world they come from.
Faye in Maine

Lisa said...

Your shirt looks cool and comfortable! I've enjoyed reading your posts both about other quilters finished quilts (thanks so much for sharing!) and about your adventures in Bali. I enjoyed reading about the batik process and the video clips. And it took me back to an art class I took over 30 years ago when we did batik and screen printing and cut our own linoleum prints. I had totally forgot about that experience. Also, from the other blogs in Bali I think you were kept very busy, got to see a lot of wonderful sights and are probably going to be exhausted for several days upon your return. At least I would be!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I think how they do things is so cool! We could learn a lot by watching how others do things. I prefer most things from a simpler time. If it ain't broke, why fix it? The have it fixed very well. Lovely fabrics done in a really neat way. Thanks for all the posts about how they make it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Bonnie for sharing your journey with us. I enjoyed you sharing things about the Bali culture and the batiking process.
Karen in Central New York

Sandra Henderson said...

You know, it's like when people use to bring me their old sofas, chairs,etc. and want me to recover adn I'd quote a price and they'd say... WHAT!?!? I can buy a new one!~ lol People had no idea how much work went into it. Even my slipcovers, as they were tailored. Yes, a lot of work goes into the Batiks. a lot of work and materials goes into a lot of things. We have been spoiled by China...in so many things. People just don't "think about it" because they have never had to. But, if it all suddenly stopped one day, they'd have to.
I've been to Goodwill and Salvation Army for 3 days in a row. I'm all set for Aiken!~ I"m addicted!~ I even got you a present from there. :)
I know you are going to be glad to get home. I really thought you'd be home by now, but now that I think about it, I think you spent the night last night. We miss you on QUiltCam!~~~

Loris said...

Thank you for sharing your trip with us, Bonnie. It has been a treat and some good armchair learning :-) The batik process really is amazing!

SweetAmbrosia said...

Primitive? If printing beautiful fabric by hand was being done in some chic area of (say) NYC - everyone would be agog and thilled. No one would say it was primitive! lol

By the way, there are any number of wonderful things that are ONLY done by an older method. My favorite is basketery. Baskets can not be woven by machine! Sure, the wood can be steamed etc in a factory. But baskets are labor intensive and have been made the same general way since the beginning of time.

How about having a garden, making a meal using your veggies and herbs? Is this also primitive --- or very very artsy.

Drats that upsets me...primitive? NO WAY!

Just because something is not produced with heavy machinery in a factory in a Island country doesn't mean it should be looked down upon. Nor should the artisians making the items be viewed with our nose in the air folks.

JulieinTN

Laurie Parrack said...

You go right on and tell them Bonnie. These people have no idea what it is like to live there and what they like. From what I have heard we as a society in the US live to work instead of work to live. Thank you very much for sharing your trip it is very interesting to see how our Batiks are made.

sewnsew said...

well said, Bonnie!!!

Anonymous said...

The nerve of some people! I don't think people realize electricity in foreign countries is really expensive. The factories are "primitive" to suit their needs. I lived in Japan for 3 years. It was a real eye opener. Many places are "primitive", but they are very resourceful, and conscious about the environment. We could learn a thing or two from other countries.

CindyB said...

People that don't travel have no idea so I just ignore them. I'm amazed at how many of my guild members haven't traveled at all. Most won't drive two hours to a new quilt shop. Have to be home by dark seems to be their motto. (what a sad thing believe you have to do) As long as I'm able to go and do I'm going and doing.

Robert said...

I have been very eager to read your entries and was tickled that you were able to make entries on what you saw and did each day. Yes, I am ashamed that people are making negative comments and thought about the people of Bali - they are rich in a heritage and culture that we can never reach. My only thought is I wish they would get a bigger percentage of the money for the per yard price of Batik's. (Hope this make sense.) When my daughter went on a mission trip to the Ukraine, they were told to take old clothes that they could give away, hope that's what you did with that top - that would be equal to a yard of material! Rest up and start planning your Bali mystery quilt out of your batiks. Have a good day. From northern Iowa. . . .

Linnie Quilts said...

Your shirt looks "okay" but it's not the most attractive thing you've worn on the trip ... agree with you on that ... but if it's comfortable and you like it then wear it ... do what YOU like; forget other people's opinions!

Linnie Quilts said...

As far as the negative comments ... whenever I read a blog comment and people start to get negative or over-opinionated I usually just move on to the next comment ... don't give them the satisfaction of spending YOUR valuable time listening to their negativity. As for their judgmental behavior ... judge not lest ye be judged....

Vic in NH said...

Bonnie, thank you for sharing your journey to Bali that I have marveled at all the sights to see.
Thank you also for gently reminding us to be respectful of others, especially those engaged in creative processes just like ours.

Carolyn Edwards said...

I wondered the same thing too. Is most of the batik
fabric that we get in quilt shops from Bali? What a wonderful trip you have taken us on. We can never thank you enough for sharing. I am so thankful that the pictures came through. People who look down on someone's lifestyle just show their own ignorance..in my opinion.
Carolyn

judy crumpler said...

Bonnie thankyou for promoting quilting & sharing your trips & video.You can please some of the people some of the time but,not
all of the people all the time.Happy Quilting

Stephen said...

I work in costuming, and some years ago we bought beautiful sequinned showgirl outfits from an Indian importer for less than the mere materials would have cost here in London. We were having guilty feelings about the ladies who made them until he said to us that they much preferred sewing on sequins in a factory to working in the rice paddies in the sun - AND it was better paid! For many craftspeople in the developed world, skilled work lifts them and their dependents out of poverty, so why are people uncomfortable because the pictures show bare feet and a scruffy factory?

Anonymous said...

Suzanne in Maine says, " keep the shirt"! You will be glad you did on the hot humid days in the south. If not, and it is woven cotton, what quilt will feature this red top?

Marge Gordon said...

Thank you for reminding some that modern isn’t always the best and that the old way usually is. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, I have enjoyed every clip, picture and ever word written.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing this process. I always wondered how they made this fabric. It's beautiful. It looks to me that these ppl are proud of what they make!! Good for them. What a wonderful adventure for you....Pat

Anonymous said...

i am surprised anyone could find fault with the beautiful lifestyle in Bali or how the people work or live. you tell them Bonnie! they just need to get over themselves. i do wonder what they do when storms come along. this trip with you is as close as I'll ever get to seeing Bali. or Sisters, Or. thank you.

Jean C. said...

Oh Bonnie, aren't we our own worst critic's. You look fine... take the shirt in a bit if you feel the need. My parents served a mission for our Church in Bangkok, Thailand and they said they would see little birds everywhere that the people would purchase from vendors... and it was some sort of tribute or another and then you would let them free... The sweetness and love that shone from the people of Thailand was amazing from what my folks said. They met and taught English to some people over there and one of the gentlemen they met Jom and taught ( pronounced Chom) (I would tell you his last name... but it's hard to write let alone pronounce)lost his mother while they were there. He grew to love my parents and then decided to claim my mother for his own. Apparently there was a very touching ceremony and so now we have an "adopted" (not legally... he is 50 years old) brother. We have met him a few times including this past June when he was in Oregon for my parents 50th anniversary. A very kind, sweet and tender man. We are so fortunate to live in the U.S., we do have a lot to be grateful for... who are we to judge people's happiness? Take care, thank you for sharing your adventure!
I've enjoyed it very much. It's amazing what people learn and share with us all!

Debbie Peterson said...

I agree 100% with you Bonnie

sandra said...

I just love you Bonnie, well said and I have nothing else to add,except who are we to be so judgmental!!

Cindy, The Purple Quilter said...

Bonnie, thanks for taking us along. So sorry that the comments did not stay positive. Everything I saw, through your eyes, was amazing! I spent my day cutting batiks for my next project and I had a new appreciation for each piece of fabric thanks to you!

Praying your travels are safe and on time!

Lee Ann Turinsky said...

Bonnie you are so kind and generous to share your adventures with us. I skip over negative comments they aren't worth the effort it takes to read them! I have lived a "big city lifestyle" as well as a "totally green lifestyle" living off the land and growing all my fruits and veggies. Cooking on a wood stove heating the house with wood, so on and so on. If given the choice, I go for the simple! Those people are happy, satisified and likey much healthier than most of us! I'd do what they are doing in a heartbeat! After reading your posts I too will never look at Batik fabric the same again. And for that red shirt, keep it! It looks cool and comfortable!

Terri in BC said...

ditto

Cindy said...

Very well said, Bonnie. You're right..these people seem to be very happy with their lives and their lifestyle and we need to just let them live it. I've really enjoyed following your Bali travels. Thanks for taking us along :)

Eileen said...

Bnnie, I have so enjoyed your posts on your trip. It was almost like being there. I certainly will have a better apprication of the batiks I buy from now on. Bali is a beautiful island. Thank you and I enjoyed the videos. Sorry about the mix up at Dulles but there are some nice hotels there.

Marla said...

Thank you Bonnie for taking us with you on your trip to Bali. My favorite post was of the beautiful elephants. Made tears come to my eyes to see those wonderful creatures. What a lifetime experience! As far as those close minded people, pay them no attention. Because that is what they are, close and small minded. I just finished reading "The Last Light" one of the books by Terri Blackstock of her Restoration Series. This is where one day, there is no more electricity or power and how people react and survive. Needless to say, I am sure the good people of Bali could do a lot better than we would of the United States. Hope the rest of your trip is uneventful and safe!

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

Sometimes I just wish all the electricity would disappear for one week (with no one dying of course) just so all those spoiled people would be lost, and would have to ask for help from those who would still be able to go on living, cooking etc without electricity. So many people have no clue how spoiled they are and like you said, they think they are better than everyone else. I love your adventures and hope someday to have my own adventures too. Thanks for taking the time to share. Please don't let those other people bring you down.

Joanne, Armstrong, BC said...

Thanks, Bonnie, for all the insights from your trip. My husband went on an eye clinic mission to Java, Indonesia a few years ago, and one weekend outing included a visit to a batik factory. I had primed him with an article from an American Quilter magazine about the process. Sadly (for me) the factory was printing on silk, and the prices were on the order of $100/yd - out of my price range. Their visit to the monkey refuge was actually quite unsettling - monkeys would steal the eyeglasses of visitors. I really enjoyed seeing the photos/videos of your Bail experience.
Joanne Colleaux, Armstrong, BC, Canada

Oh My, Jan! said...

AMEN! (So be it!) Thank you, Bonnie, for your GREAT reminders!!!

Anonymous said...

I think you will find most of the batik in the US will have come from this factory. Katut is the owner and when I was there a few months ago he told me he ships two container loads to US a month. I am from Australia and have been bying from him for a few years. I have traveled to Bali many times since 1982 and have seen many changes but what has not changed is the people they are friendly happy and honest. I was talking to Katut a couple of months ago when I was there about his workers and he said he employes many families and was concerned about being able to give them comstant work. So keep using Batiks and know you are helping to support bali families.
Lesley from Australia.

knitnoid said...

Bonnie -- I have enjoyed your Bali posts, the sunrises and the activities. But this post gives me something to think about.

Over the past 10 years or so, I've only bought the occasional batik FQ - batiks weren't "speaking" to me. It's only been in the last few years that I thought about adding batiks to my stash, but I hadn't figured out how with them costing so much more that other cotton fabric - not that I have been buying much fabric of any type.

A few months ago I watched a video of how batiks are made. It was fascinating. So labor intensive and yet as expensive as batiks are at the LQS I couldn't believe we were getting them that cheaply. I decided I would have to stay away from batiks -- I didn't want to be part of the demand for a labor intensive product where there might be a chance for exploitation. About 6 weeks later I conveniently "forgot" that pledge and bought 14 or 15 FQ to make my first batik quilt -- making me think I was a hypocrite. The other day when you posted you could buy a meter for about $3 at the factory it reiterated my thoughts about the labor vs amount the workers are getting paid.

But today's post makes me think about this from the other direction. Tradition, hand crafted, and happy people (perhaps happier than those of us in the Western world) who am I to say what a fair wage is. Now as happy as I was to get those batik FQs, I bought them at nearly half of what most batiks sell for and not because they were on sale. Now it is me who is doing the exploiting. I would like to think more money is going to the batik artists when I pay $13 a yard than when I pay $7 a yard. But when quilting is such a big business who knows.

So, will I buy more batiks? I don't know. But it does give me something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind it would be the inbetween people who are getting less or more depending on the price in your store. The factory in Bali is always getting the same price and they are happy with that price as there cost of living is fare below western countries. So buy more and keep people in a job.
Lesley from Australia

Bobbi said...

You have been so generous and kind to share your experiences with those of us who could not go with you. I have enjoyed every bit of your posts and learned a lot.

I personally like your shirt, it looks comfortable. I live in the deep south so this kind of shirt would work for me!

Bobbi in Alabama

Anonymous said...

You have a beautiful shirt, looks like embroidery on it.

I think your purse make the difference on the picture.

cy from Canada

Bonnie K Hunter said...

Thank you Lesley! I wish I could buy direct from him....send me a meter or two of everything ;c)

Bonnie K Hunter said...

LIKE!!!

Maria said...

Really I enjoy your trip to Bali, and when I saw your face when you discover the bag full of pieces of batick was really marvellous, and your comments all the time, explaining all the places you go, excuse my english I'm from Spain and I do my best
Maria
maconsa2412@gmail.com

JaneB said...

I've enjoyed all of your Bali posts. It is so interesting to see this culture and learn about how the fabrics are made. I would like to know if the cotton cloth that is batiked is also produced in Bali. Most batik fabric I've bought has a lovely silky texture and seems to be woven with finer threads.

As many people have said, I applaud your willingness to respond to the mean and ignorant comments from some of your blog visitors.