The year began low key. Following an eventful 2017, we were ready to start at an easy pace with lots of space for breathing. This meant time with books, nature and notebooks. The act of putting pen on paper is a cathartic exercise that remains our go-to method for slowing down and collecting our thoughts.
In that spirit, we carved a week in Java in January, continuing our journey through the archipelago to discover the best in the region’s Batik. It is a yearly sojourn we look forward to, for there is nothing quite as humbling as meeting new people and discovering the textiles they create.
Several hours outside of Yogyakarta, the people of Klaten continue to make Batik with nature's bounty. A bumpy ride through seemingly unending paddy fields brought us to Kebon Indah, nestled amongst the lush greens Central Java is so known for.
We first came across this all-women collective two years ago, falling in love with their style of batik making. Though not nearly as fine as the batik found in bigger and longer established studios in the city, there is a deep sincerity in Kebon Indah's expression that we can't quite describe in words. Ancient batik symbols mixed with elements of nature, the use of all-natural dyes, the genuine spirit of the batik artists — all make for a gentler interpretation to an time-honoured method of textile making known for its strong and symbolic patterns.
If you have pillows from Gypsied Home, these are the women behind the beautifully drawn batik from the collection.
Lovely women of Kebon Indah, felt absolutely at home.
Later on, we set foot in the ancient batik city of Surakarta, but that’s a story for another time.
With three collections in the pipeline for the first half of 2018, we are on our toes sketching, prototyping and refining. How swiftly the tides have turned, but a healthy dose of stress has always been essential for progress.
Collection 01: Safe Space
Collection 02: Tilled Earth
Most excitingly, one of these collections will be produced together with a local social enterprise. A long-time dream of ours has been to contribute to a social cause, and revive a stagnant industry of locally-produced goods. Well, one step at a time.
How’s your year been so far? We end this post with a quote that's struck us for quite awhile. It says, "Live by your seasons."
Keep updated of new textiles, products and stories monthly on our mailing list.