I like to drop by Threads of Life for the pure joy of being surrounded by exquisite textiles. Stepping into the small gallery style store in Jalan Kajeng, a cobbled street off the main road in Ubud, is a quietly inspiring experience.
The array of textiles and baskets are commissioned directly from over 1,000 women on 11 islands across Indonesia. Threads of Life help weavers form independent cooperatives providing economic and technical support.
‘The result is a sustainable, natural, traditional method of textile production, with complete cultural integrity.’THREADS OF LIFE
I take my time, watching the stories of the weavers on the video screens set amongst the textiles and baskets.
18 months to weave a piece of cloth, thread by thread, is a reality check on our ‘tap and shop’ way of life.
As I pick up each piece, I find myself amazed by the fine quality. Its hard to believe the depth of colour, even weaving and tiny details are created by hand.
Every piece of cloth has a story.
This is not the place to bargain for market prices. Threads of Life is a Fair Trade organisation. It’s possible to pick up small pieces such as napkins, scarves and baskets or spend a few hundred dollars on an exquisite hand made piece of cloth woven with ancient knowledge.
Take heart knowing you are not only taking home a textile treasure, you’re directly helping some of the poorest families throughout Indonesia lift themselves out of poverty.
If like myself you find yourself captivated, keen to slow down and learn the ancient techniques of weaving, batik and the art of natural dyes, sign up for one of the classes or workshops. They vary from 2 hour talks to seven day programs with the option to be a resident or non-resident participant at a delightful property just outside Ubud.
The website tells their story, shares in-depth textile knowledge, has inspiring videos and allows you to book a workshop or class online.