´Art connects us with strangers´
One of the reasons I spent so much time in Indonesia is because of all the incredible and inspiring people I met. While searching for new batiks, weaving workshops and elements to dye with I crossed paths with an infinite number of great artists that each taught me new skills and introduced me to my current ateliers.



Hand Drawn Batik, Batik Tulis

picture by Sagar Chitrakar 
A wax-resist dyeing technique to decorate fabrics with a small wax filled pen (tjanting) or stamp (tjap). 
The batik AYO uses is from Java, the island with the highest quality and most developed Batik motif in the world. There are two types of batik: Hand drawn - Batik Tulis, and Stamped - Batik Cap. To make Batik Tulis they use the small wax filled pen that draws a pattern on the cloth, depending on the motif this can take weeks till months to finish. Batik Cap (stamped) is made with a heavy copper stamp soaked in wax and applied to the fabric. A stamped batik cloth can be finished in a day and is for this reason more affordable then the Hand Drawn Batik Tulis.

The batik workshop

A small village near Yogyakarta was my home for a few weeks, as I learned and worked with the artists to create new batiks. This is also the village where AYO sources its batiks for the Chapter One and Two collections. The process of design, hand-drawing the batik and dying with surrounding plants and trees occur in this magical place.
We work closely together with two workshops situated in the village near Yogyakarta, Java.
The first one is Kebun Indah. A workshop lead by Ibu Dalmini, the power woman that designs the batiks and provides work for more than 160 women. Kebun Indah also invites both primary, high school and universities to their workshop to learn more about the batik and natural dye process.
Batik ´Jokowi´ is a workshop just a few streets away, situated halfway up the hill.  Pak Jokowi and his wife are both very passionate about the use of natural dye. The designs Pak Jokowi make are inimitable; the combination of traditional patterns in a contemporary, more detailed way. Birds and landscapes are his specialities, drawn so beautifully I get ´Lapar Matah´ - ´Hungry eyes´ in the Indonesian language,  every time I see them!


Weaving is done by hand using a loom , a device used to weave cloth and tapestry.
The weavings are from a city in the middle of Java called: Pekalongan. Made from 100% cotton threads, and hand-woven on the big wooden looms in the Ridaka family workshop, which started back in 1940.
The workshop is famous for its plain hand-woven fabrics. What I love so much about this place is that the entire process happens in one place. When the cotton comes in, it gets washed and dyed by the strong men the Ibu´s spin it to yarn, and eventually woven into beautiful fabrics.
Weaving in the Ridaka Studio
picture by Sagar Chitrakar 

Natural Dyeing

´Dyes derived from plants, trees and other organic materials´
A craft by itself, as every outcome is unique and different, just like materials they use. The handweaving we use for the Chapter 2 Collection is all dyed on the Island of Bali using various parts of plants and trees that grow on the tropical island. The beauty of the natural dying process is the continuous availability, the leaves and fruit grow back every season which provides new dyes. The leaves get cut only at the right time of the season, and for some colours, we use the already fallen ones that create different hues than their young siblings. 
picture by Sagar Chitrakar 

The Dye Workshop

AYO works together with the Tarum workshop in Bali, which started natural dyeing back in 1998. Pak Arsana began the natural dye concept out of his concern about the impact of the synthetic dyes from outside of Indonesia and the impact of this process on Bali´s environment and people.  At the moment they make more than 500 different colours derived from plants and trees that they grow themselves partly at their plantation.


Bali´s woodcrafts are known all over the world, renowned for the skilled artisans, who pass their talents on to the next generation, creating a lively economy around the villages. Pak Nyoman is an experienced craftsman who produces the ring and zipper detail for the Jenn Clutch. He started his small Wood and Bonecarf studio back in the 80´s in Tampaksiring, Bali. The wood we use for AYO is the Indonesian `Sono´ better known as ´Rosewood´ which is well known for its fascinating orange, pink, red, green and blue hues.


Pak Nyoman crafts the wooden ring