Original Colours Workshop
A 5-day residential workshop exploring Indonesia’s natural dye traditions - limited to 8 people.
Saturday 21 October - Wednesday 25 October
For four millennia the textile arts of Indonesia have articulated an intimate and harmonious relationship with the earth. Through the plant-sourced dyes and the symbolic potency of the colours created, the archipelago’s indigenous peoples have literally wrapped themselves in their stories of this relationship. After fifteen years of field research and studio practice, the Threads of Life’s staff dyers are offering a 5-day workshop exploring the making, meaning and application of these colours through the practices of batik, yarn and swatch dyeing, and arasi. Hosted at the Threads of Life Natural Dye Studio on the grounds of the Umajati Retreat in Ubud, Bali, the program offers both residential and non-residential options.
The workshop will be held at the Threads of Life Dye Studio and Bebali Dye Garden at the Umajati Retreat
This workshop offers 3 days of studio time, exploring the traditional art of batik and the indigenous dyes of the Indonesian archipelago. Designed as both an introduction for beginners or an extended practice for established practitioners, the workshop will build towards a personal creative batik and natural dye project on the third day. It will start with a day of hands-on work creating shades of colour with indigenous natural dyes harvested from the dye garden, before the second day focusses on developing batik skills through a series of simple exercises using canting (wax pen), cap (stamp) and brush; these two days establish the foundation for the third day of personal creative exploration.
prepare and dye cotton swatches using Indonesia’s traditional natural dyes, principally blue from Indigofera tinctoria, brown from Ceriops tagal, and red from Morinda citrifolia
learn batik using canting (wax pen), cap (stamp), and brush with natural dyes
create a personal cotton or silk scarf batik project (materials provided)
Jean, William, Komang, Wayan, and Made are the workshop leaders
The workshop is hosted by Threads of Life founders, Jean Howe and William Ingram. Threads of Life’s staff dyers Komang Sujata, Wayan Sukadana and Made Maduarta, bring a combined 35 years of experience to the teaching of this workshop. Focusing on traditions that have degraded and are being recovered, they document local dye recipes and processes in the field, and test them in the studio before taking suggested refinements back to the communities. In the dye garden, they establish cultivation and harvesting methods to address plant resource scarcity being faced by traditional dyers. In the studio, they lead half-day up to weeklong workshops, both for indigenous weavers and international students. Their approach to natural dyeing seeks plant-sourced dyes by plant-sourced processes and avoids synthetic additives or mordants.
Residential accommodations at the Umajati Retreat
Saturday 21 October
PM - Arrival at Umajati Retreat for residential guests | Group introductions and retreat program overview | Group dinner at Umajati.
Sunday 22 October
AM - Breakfast for residential guests | Shuttle to workshop for non-residential guests | Introduction to natural dyes and workshop program | Indigo dye vat preparation
PM - Lunch | Dyeing for colour gradation with indigo and tannins | Shuttle to Ubud for non-residential guests | Free for dinner in Ubud
Monday 23 October
AM - Breakfast for residential guests | Shuttle to workshop for non-residential guests | Introduction to batik and batik sample making using canting (wax pen) and brush work | Dyeing samples with indigo and tannin
PM - Lunch | Continued batik sample making adding cap (stamp) work | Dyeing samples with indigo and tannin | Wax removal | Shuttle to Ubud for non-residential guests | Free for dinner in Ubud
Tuesday 24 October
AM - Breakfast for residential guests | Shuttle to workshop for non-residential guests | Personal natural dye batik project
PM - Lunch | Personal natural dye batik project (continued) | Shuttle to Ubud for non-residential guests | Free for dinner in Ubud
Wednesday 25 October
AM - Breakfast for residential guests | Check-out and departure.
Price, Payment, Cancellation and Refund Policy, Group Size
Included for all participants:
3 days of workshop program; arrival and departure airport transfers; 3 lunches, 1 dinner; scheduled local transportation.
Included for residential participants:
4 nights of twin-share accommodations, 4 breakfasts.
Note: twin share rooms may be made up with a king size bed for couples; single room supplements available on request; shared accommodations for a participant’s partner available on request.
Included for non-residential participants:
Morning and afternoon transfers between accommodations in central Ubud and the workshop venue.
Payment will be made through PayPal via an automatic link in the booking website. You do not need to have a PayPal account to make a payment; PayPal will simply be used to process your credit card payment.
Cancellation and Refunds
Cancellation requests must be made by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The date of cancellation is the date on which the written cancellation is received in Bali. No refund will be made for failure to attend or if you voluntarily leave the workshop for any reason after it has begun. No refunds will be given for any accommodation, transport, sightseeing, meals or services not used during the workshop. Cancellation may be made at any time and refunds will be reversed directly from PayPal to your PayPal account or credit card with the following conditions:
• A 100% refund will be made within 7 days of booking to allow participants to arrange air tickets and time off from work.
• From 8 days after booking, and if there are still more than 91 days until the workshop, a 90% refund will be made for cancellation.
• From 90 days before the workshop up to 31 days before the workshop, a 50% refund will be made.
• Within 30 days of the workshop, no refund will be made.
Maximum group size is 8 participants. Minimum group size for the published itinerary is 1 participant.
Travel insurance is required for all participants. Travel insurance should, at minimum, provide coverage against personal accident, personal liability, medical expenses, and emergency evacuation. (An emergency air medical evacuation to Singapore can cost upwards of USD 30,000.) Medical care facilities in Indonesia are significantly different from the West and medical evacuation is extremely expensive.