Sunday, February 23, 2014

Island Batik - a Fresh Breath of Bali!

We recently had an exciting opportunity to visit the Island Batik Distribution Center. We love batiks & sell a lot of colorful batiks in our shop, so we were really looking forward to seeing how these lovelies come to us from so far away.

This incredible piece greeted us as we walked into the Distribution Center Office. 
It's a much smaller operation than I'd imagined, especially since they have so many gorgeous fabrics to choose from. We were greeted by Caleb Willis, the President/CEO, Maureen, one of my favorite salespeople, & this beautiful sparkly quilt, by P.J. Anderson.
Kristen & Katie were busy as bees, keeping the office humming smoothly.

The Indonesian artists in Bali create the vivid colors & designs for which Island Batiks are known. Batik is a way of life for the Indonesian people, practiced for centuries.
The colors don't show up as vividly as I'd hoped in my photographs, because everything is already wrapped in plastic to protect the fabric. It arrives in plastic from Indonesia. Caleb shared with us his vision of providing more opportunities to the locals in the small village in Bali where his manufacturing facility is located. 
This provides that consistent, quality product we are inspired by & love to create with.

Local artists transform the white base cloth into the spectacular designs and colors for which Island Batik is known. All of the fabric dyeing is done in Island Batik's own manufacturing facility in Bali. Men and women of the community perform the management of the plant, as well as all of the production processes. Men perform the stamping of wax onto the fabric, dyeing, washing and drying. The fabric is left out in the rice fields, where good sunlight is essential to ensure strong color and color fastness. The women are in charge of quality assurance, folding, bolting and packaging of the cloth. I have to say, they do a darn good job!

The batik fabric is rolled by hand onto cardboard bolts, which are manufactured by families in the surrounding district on the island. Island Batik produces 100% recyclable bolt boards utilizing local island raw materials. I think that's awesome!

These bolts are stacked & ready to be boxed. 
We Mermaids are picky about how our fabric is rolled onto the boards, & we're very unhappy when our bolt boards are wimpy, bendy or loose. These are some of the best!
Kudos to the villagers in Bali.

These boxes are ready to ship all over the world - we even noticed some familiar quilt shop names. We thought we might just offer to deliver them on the way home ... but our car was already packed with our own new batiks!

This is my BEFORE shopping cart. ;)

Many thanks to everyone at Island Batik for such a wonderful morning. You all do an amazing job. We enjoyed seeing your facility, learning about the batik process,  & ... 

We'll be back. ;)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

RJR Fabrics Tour


Richard & I had an opportunity to tour the RJR facility in Torrance. What a thrill! 
Floor to ceiling bolts & rolls of luscious color! You may have noticed - I'm kind of into that. ;)


Just as Lili started our tour, 
the President & Vice President of the company, Rick Cohan & John Durnell, 
walked around the warehouse with a rosebud & balloon for each employee for Valentine's Day! That's something you don't see very often.   

Then we started looking around at the eye-popping beauty!

 The batiks arrive from Indonesia on rolls, & must be double rolled on bolts at the plant.

Here's a pallet of new naked bolts, ready for action.

This is how they cut perfect fat quarters!


It's a beautiful place. How nice to see Jinny Beyer's quilt every day when you walk in to work!

Thanks, Lili, for a nice morning. It was great meeting you, your bosses (who said she actually runs the place ;) & learning about your RJR operation.