I’m glad I didn’t settle for just any ikat in Jalan Sulawesi. Craftastrophies pointed me in the direction of Klungkung Markets to find just the right ones, and boy, was she right. This place is Ikat Central, and if you can’t find ikats you like here then there is no help for you.
I was so distracted by the variety on offer that I totally forgot to take photos while I shopped, so I am going to borrow some from the internet. If any of these photos is yours and you don’t like me using it, let me know and I will remove it.
The market is mainly patronised by the Balinese, so not at all touristy, and on the morning I was there it was quiet and relaxed. No crowds, no noise and no hard sell. I wandered around looking to try and come to grips with the sheer choice and variety of ikats on offer. It wasn’t easy!
There are different qualities apparently. To my surprise the sarongs were twice as much per meter of fabric as the fabric sold by the meter. And the latter also seemed to have a price scale, although even after many years of sewing I could not tell the difference in quality. Maybe I won’t until I wash the stuff. Or maybe some sellers were more aggressive in the pricing they quote at a casual inquiry, and I did not stop to try and bargain with those. As it happened the fabric I liked was in the cheaper stalls. Yay!
Last time I bought ikats was in 2012, so 5 years ago, and I paid $4 per meter, or maybe $4.50. This time they wanted $6/m for much the same thing. I bargained this down to $15 for 3 meters, which seemed fine to me. All the ikats are done on traditional looms and 1m wide. I had better luck photographing the ikats than the batiks, so here is a ‘shot-on-the-bed’ of what I bought.
It took me a long while of feeling the fabric to decide that maybe the sarong is a tiny bit thicker than the metrage, but then again maybe not. Or maybe the weaving is more expert? Search me. I like all the pieces I bought, some of them, like the blue above on the left, precisely because the weaving is less intricate, which makes the appearance of the fabric less busy.
One last purchase was a cross-weave grey cotton, good for cotton pants or even a shirt. Being a redhead, grey is my favourite neutral colour. This was AU$4.50/m after a bit of argy-bargy. It was possibly hand woven and I am feeling a tiny bit guilty now thinking that for the low price, but the seller seemed pretty happy. She gave me her card, meaning she wanted me to come back, always a good sign.
Because everything is sold in one place and I was only looking for one type of fabric it took me less than an hour to find what I wanted, do the deed and be out of there. A win for DH who had stuck out his neck coming along.
There is lots more to look at in this market, from birds and fish to veggies and shoes, but one courtesy deserves another, and so after a quick look I rang our driver and both DH and I went home happy!