WHO IS KATHERINE RALLY?
Katherine Rally is actually a husband wife team- Rally was an architect and Kathy was an interior designer. They met and fell in love over their mutual desire for world travel. They got married and had two kids, and when the economy in the U.S. collapsed, they decided to head off to Bali. It was there that they started Katherine Rally, a batik fabric company.
HOW THEIR TEXTILES ARE HAND MADE…
“Our fabrics are made right here in Bali. Our batik making process is a small scale family affair. I create the hand drawn designs and the look of everything we do and Kathy is the editor and final word. We use Indonesian fabrics made from 100% cotton as well as cotton linen blended fabrics. Kathy and I take the raw fabric to a family run batik production facility nearby on the island. This family has been making batiks for generations and their ancient art is a tremendous source of pride for the twin brothers who head the family.
When Kathy deems a design ready, we have an artisan make a copper hand stamp from my pen and ink drawings. When used repeatedly, the stamp interlocks with itself to create our look. Just the stamp takes a month to create by hand. When finished, the brothers dip the metal stamp into molten wax and stamp our fabric. The wax cools and hardens on the fabric, and the fabric is dipped into color dye vats and spun. (The dye permeates the fabric where there is no wax and resists the waxy areas, leaving them un-dyed). After the dyes saturate the fabric, the dyes are drained and reused for the local Balinese market.
Our wet fabric is now ready for the vats of boiling water heated by a coconut wood fire. The hot wax separates from the fabric and floats to the top to be recycled and used again. The wax resists color from the dyeing process and when it is removed from the fabric, you see our wonderful patterns. It took us a while to understand this reverse process where the metal stamp is the exact reverse of our drawings, but we soon got the hand of it, and I can now design with a negative image of the design in mind. We are very proud of the green aspects of our business. Everything is sourced locally, from the fabric to the wood to fuel the fires of our small scale family run batik fabricator. Their factory is licensed by the Indonesian government (very few batik makers have this distinction), and recycles both the dyes and the wax they use.”