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How Balinese Beaded Baskets are Made

Reader Elise inspired this blog post when she asked if I knew of a tutorial on Balinese beaded baskets. Well, there are no tutorials but I did come across this video which shows you the beautiful work offered by Bindah, a small Balinese company which started some years these craftswomen market their goods and thus bring in some income for their families.

I have been unable to find any trace of this particular company today.  But there are other craft collectives such as the Kembali Collective.  (Update :  Reader Susan Lisman found Bindah on Houzz! Thanks!

Still, that video gives us an insight into the process. The Balinese women sew 12/0 seed beads using peyote stitch around hand woven rattan baskets. As you can see, the patterns are customized to the shape and size of the individual baskets, handbags and other home decor items.  It takes weeks or months for an artisan to complete a large piece!

Bali in Indonesia is a small island with an incredible arts and crafts culture including the performing arts. Silverwork, wood carving, painting, bead work, basketry are just a few crafts to mention. All that together with the beautiful landscapes and friendly people are the reasons why tourism is Bali's major industry.

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 Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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  1. Such gorgeous baskets and talented people.

  2. beautiful work, and so time consuming!

  3. Fascinating. 12/0 beads certainly make the designs more intricate and obviously more time a 2-drop peyote on the aqua/brown basket and a 3-drop peyote on the brown one. The way they add the beads to the needle by "stabbing" the needle into pile of beads is one used by other ethnic beaders. While the 2-drop, the 3-drop, and "Stabbing" would increase the speed of the beading, The baskets are so large and intricate that I can't imagine that the process isn't a really long one. The thing that truly amazes me is how they can make the motif of each stripe be equal around the circumference of the basket without the apparent use of a pattern. Attempting to make one yourself is definitely not a task for the average or even advanced beader. I just realized that the pattern on the lower part of the brown basket is reminiscent of bargello. Just goes to show you that nothing is ever as new as we think.

    1. My mother uses the stabbing motion to pick up beads - it is a good way to avoid straining the eyes! Yes, I agree it does take some planning. I wonder if they have set patterns for the type of baskets on hand? The two different crafts seem to go hand to hand there.


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