Tour Details

Bali Fiber Tour Details

Only 10 guests per tour

Experience the wonderful centuries-old textile techniques that have made this Indonesian island famous. Tjap and tjanting batik, weaving, ikat, indigo and other natural dyes… You’ll meet the artisans and get right in on the design process with hands-on workshops. Imagine 14 days in a textile and tropical paradise! You’re going to love it!

Please note:  These are “women only” tours and each tour is limited to just 10 special guests.  The tour involves some walking.  My guests must be able to walk unassisted, have the stamina to walk two or three blocks at a time and climb a small flight of stairs if needed…

Between 1999 and 2011 Barb Alexander traveled to Bali every year to design her line of rayon batik fabrics for her former business, The Batik Butik. Countless women have asked Barb to lead tours to Bali so now that The Batik Butik has been sold she is thrilled to share this beautiful tropical island (and its gracious people) with others.  As of the fall of 2014 six tour groups have joined Barb on these wonderful textile tours that just keep getting better and better.

 PLEASE NOTE: This is a land only tour – guests must make their own flight arrangements to and from Bali. (If you choose, Andrea Eggen of Merit Travel Group would be happy to assist you with this.  (Email her at aeggen@merit.ca or phone her at 1-800-409-1711, ext. 7249). As Barb’s guest you will spend 14 nights in both Ubud (the art center of Bali) and Sanur (east Bali on the Indian Ocean) with many wonderful opportunities - most scheduled and some as options - such as:

  • A day at the batik factory Barb worked with for 12 years (home of “The Batik Butik” fabrics) - includes an explanation of how batik fabric is designed (intriguing!) and a visit from an artisan who will make a metal tjap (stamp) from a sketch; demonstrations of  hand-dye and batik processes as well as screening followed by a hands-on lesson in tjapping (stamping) your own length of highest quality batik fabric.  You choose your colorway and tjap design!
  • A silk batik painting workshop.  Two talented artists demonstrate their special silk painting techniques - even a complete novice will produce a beautiful silk panel that can be framed or used in a garment or quilt.
  • The knowledgeable staff at Threads of Life (www.threadsoflife.com) will deliver an informative lecture on the “History of textiles and their place in Indonesian culture”
  • With guides from Threads of Life we will visit a traditional village in East Bali famous for hand-dyeing threads used in both ikat weaving and the rare songket (double-ikat) weaving.  We will spend time with a master dyer/weaver who is instrumental in teaching age-old weaving and natural dyeing techniques to local women and teens.  She will show a variety of woven cloths and explain their use during Balinese Hindu ceremonies.  (These articles will be for sale).  Enroute to that village a stop at the traditional fabric and spice market in Klungkung where hand-dyed, hand-woven ikat fabric can be purchased.
  • A hands-on indigo workshop where fabric is dyed by tour guests using an indigo vat from the plant source - a technique that had been used traditionally for centuries.
  • Shopping at four fabric shops selling cotton and rayon batiks and hand-dyes at terrific prices (approx. $2.50 US per meter).  Some silks can also be found.
  • A guided tour of a traditional food market followed by a fabulous hands-on cooking class featuring favorite Indonesian dishes; all this in a Balinese family compound setting
  • Shopping at a top-quality cotton ikat weaving showroom featuring contemporary and traditional fabrics sold by the meter.  An opportunity to have garments custom-made from those fabrics (with discounts for our group)
  • A stop at huge bead, craft supply and sewing notions stores with bargains galore
  • A visit to a large button store featuring horn, wood and shell buttons
  • A talented leather tailor will visit our hotel to take orders for custom-made bags, wallets etc. (participation is optional)
  • Balinese dance and music performance at the Ubud Palace
  • Optional guided tour to one of Bali’s beautiful  temples, the Elephant Cave Temple…and a coffee plantation
  • Optional visit to a popular textile museum
  • A guided morning walk through functioning rice paddies
  • Visit to two high quality silver jewelry showrooms (with deep discounts for our group)
  • Visits to some of Barb’s favorite shops including: hand-painted bed sheets & tablecloths, wholesale sarong markets, and more
  • Transportation in air-conditioned buses or vans with charming, helpful, English-speaking drivers who love to share their homeland with others
  • 14 nights’ accommodation in beautiful resorts in Ubud (inland) and Sanur (on the Indian Ocean)
  • 25 meals including 13 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 3 dinners (not all meals are included so we can each do our own thing when tour activities end)
  • Free time has been built into this tour so it is possible to experience other areas of this wonderful island….or enjoy Bali’s world-famous spa treatments, relax by the pool or beach, or go shopping
  • This is a very full and informative tour.  A maximum of ten tour guests and two guides provide a personal experience that is a “once-in-a-lifetime”.
  • This land-only tour is offered for $3950 US per person based on shared accommodation.  A single supplement is available for an additional $950 US per person.

These tours will be booked on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please indicate your sincere interest by contacting us. Barb and her co-leader, Cheryl, look forward to showing you a unique side to Bali custom-designed for all fiber lovers.  If you have any questions about the tour itself, please contact Barb at:

barb.alexander@merit.ca