The handmade fabric featured in Indonesia 6 Ethnotek bags come from the artisan's hands of Surakarta, Indonesia. In the form of batik dyed cotton, these cool-colored works of art are a modern take on some very traditional techniques, both in batik fabric design and classic East Asian architecture.
Woven reeds, palm leaves, and wild grasses have been a multi functional mainstay for most cultures from Peru to the Philippines. The design for the Indonesia 6 fabric came from this classic weaving style that is widely used in Indonesian architecture for roofs and walls, but mostly in floor mats called Tikar Pandan in Surakarta. These mats are rolled out every night at Warungs (small street-side cafe's) where people gather to eat late night snacks and drink tea. Let’s take a look at how they do batik, Surakarta style!
- Step 1: Begins with a drawing, via pencil and parchment paper so there is some translucency, which is key for artists to trace their ancestor's designs allowing the copper stamp maker to then translate that into the tool.
- Step 2: Is taking copper scraps and magically bending them into form to match the artist's drawing. It's mind blowing how they do this! Copper strips manipulated with pliers, hammers, shears, picks and files, true craftsmanship!
- Step 3: The artist comes to do a quality control check to make sure the copper craftsman's tool matches his/her drawing.
- Step 4: The approved or adjusted tool makes its way onto the wax stamper's shelf.
- Step 5: Is all about reduction... The "batik chef" who knows the precise recipe for the batik wax, melts the wax so the stamper can apply the wax to the cotton fabric.
- Step 6: The stamper then takes the artist's and coppersmith's tool, dips it in the chef's wax and ever-so-carefully applies it to the virgin cotton fabric. Now that the wax has been applied and has seeped into the fibers of the cotton it is ready for the next step.
- Step 7: The cotton fabric is then bathed in the dye.
- Step 8: Is the easiest of all, hang it out to dry!
- Step 9: We gather Ethnotek customer orders and then place a bulk fabric order with the artisans.
- Step 10: Once the fabric arrives at the ETK workshop in Vietnam, it is sewn into finished Ethnotek bags with tender love and care.
- Step 11: These hot new items are ready to ship to you!
- Step 12: The cycle is now complete! When you buy a bag with these fabrics, it supports artisan employment for the continued creation of them, which in turn, helps preserve the culture that is literally woven and stamped into every piece. You can then wear your bag with pride, knowing the story behind it and lovely people who made it by hand.