Tapestry Crochet in Bali

I found a hint of tapestry crochet in Bali while researching Indonesian crafts last summer with my husband. I didn’t see anyone doing it, but found the hat below in the Ubud market.

Tapestry Crochet Hat in Bali 
This is the only tapestry crochet that I saw in Bali. I bought it, even though it’s much too small for my head!

I did find LOTS of venders all over Bali crocheting beautiful lace-like tablecloths and garments with white and colored thread, though.

Crocheters in Bali
These industrious ladies crochet while waiting for customers.

Crocheters in Bali
More industrious vendors! The tops in the background on the left are crocheted.

I emailed Jean Howe, one of the founders of the Threads of Life (an organization that promotes traditional Indonesian spinning, dyeing, and weaving) to arrange for a guide and a room in Ubud ahead of time and to see if I could teach a tapestry crochet class there.  She said that the staff would probably be interested in learning, so I brought along thread, hooks, and my books.

Weti Tapestry Crocheting
Weti really caught on fast! She’s crocheting the handle on the right.

Tapestry Crochet, Bali
And so did Vita – also working on a handle. Vita was very excited to learn tapestry crochet because now she has something to do when there are no customers!

We ate most of our meals at the Rumah Roda Restaurant, located above the Threads of Life showroom, and stayed at the Rumah Roda Homestay. Rudi, our excellent Rumah Roda guide / driver, introduced us to weavers, carvers, ceramists, jewelers, etc. all over Bali. I haven’t finished my web pages about the crafts of Bali and Java, but the batik and filigree pages are done, if you would like to take a look.

The Roda family and the town of Ubud offered us a fantastic look at traditional Balinese culture. Over a 3 week period we witnessed a royal cremation and wedding, and helped Rudi and his family celebrate their son’s important first birthday. It was enlightening to see the important role that crafts played during these rituals. The Roda family is featured in the book, A Little Bit One O’Clock, written by William Ingram, another Threads of Life founder. I didn’t realize the fact until I began reading it in Bali. What a pleasant surprise when I realized that the family in the book was the same one that welcomed us into their home!

Most people go to Bali for the surfing, beaches, and night life. Not me! The crafts and traditional culture lured me there. I’m still organizing my 3,000+ photos and the information I gathered last May. What an experience!

6 Responses to “Tapestry Crochet in Bali”

  1. Judy Grivas says:

    Wonderful article and pictures….thanks so much for sharing!

  2. More related articles about Bali Indonesia Island including travel guide, hotel villa online reservation, blog, art, dance, music (gamelan), culture, people, community, tale, event, news, forum, destination and Resort. More http://baliwww.com http://blog.baliwww.com

  3. Alexandra says:

    This is so interesting! I hope you are writing articles about crochet around the world for some crochet magazines!

  4. I’ve included info about tapestry crochet in the Americas, Europe, and Africa in my Tapestry Crochet and More Tapestry Crochet books and in articles that have appeared in Piecework, Crochet Fantasy, Interweave Crochet, Handspinners, the Crochet Guild of American Newsletter, and Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot. What I love about blogging about it is that I can include my latest research and lots of large, colorful pictures!

  5. Bali Villas says:

    Thanks for the info. I will have to get the tapestry crochet soon. Err, will you sell it to me?

  6. You can find information about tapestry crochet and how to order my books at http://www.tapestrycrochet.com/

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