Did you know each ata bags takes up to 6 weeks to make? Now that right there is S L O W fashion, my friends. It's a beautiful process that very few know about so we're excited to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how the ata bag is handcrafted.
Step 1: WEAVING
Ata grass, similar to rattan, is found at the volcanic foothills in East Bali. This type of grass is known for being extremely durable and water resistant.
The ata grass is split into four pieces and handwoven into your bag. This is a long and intricate process and depending on the style, a bag takes 3-10 days to weave.
Step 2: DRYING
After weaving, newly woven bags are dried in the sun for a few days.
Step 3: COLORING
A coconut husk is pulled apart and made into tinder for the smoking oven.
To give the bags the beautiful golden brown color, they are smoked over the coconut husk for several days. This sounds like a pretty hands-free process but they need TLC while smoking. The makers must remove and rotate the bags every three hours to make sure they are evenly colored.
For other colors, a vat of dye is boiled and the bags are dipped to achieve their new hue.
Step 4: SEALING & SHAPING
To make a bag your forever piece, the interior of the bag is brushed with a liquid glue mixture then stamped with a large pestle to further seal and reshape each bag as needed.
Step 5: DRYING
The bags are again placed in the hot Indonesian sun to bake for a few more days to let the glue set.
Step 6: DETAILING
Handles, bows, and fasteners! The attention to detail is incredible and each part of your bag down to the smallest stitch is done by hand.
Once all "hardware" is added, each bag is meticulously scanned and small clippers are used to smooth any angry spots.
Step 7: BATIK LINING
While the exterior of the bags are beautiful, our favorite part is peeking inside to see what beautiful batik fabric lines each bag. We give the family full creative rights to style each bag with the traditional prints they love most.