While authentic Bali rattan bags are handmade and come from Indonesia, this popular trend has led to many knock-off "rattan bags" emerging from factories in China. While these rattan bags may be a more cost-friendly option, they are not produced using sustainable or ethical methods like authentic Bali rattan bags, and are simply feeding the "fast fashion" problem.
In this post we will be speaking only about how authentic Bali rattan bags are made.
Traditionally Bali rattan bags come from East Bali. At Nomad Nextdoor, we work directly with small families of artisans who have been handcrafting these bags for generations.
The process of making one rattan bag takes about one month of work! First, the Ata grass that grows wildly in Bali is picked, and then the stems are divided into 4 parts and braided in multiple ways to create unique patterns.
Once woven, the rattan bags are dried in the sun for several days. This can be tricky during the rainy season, as there is less sun and more moisture in the air, meaning it takes longer for them to dry. Once fully dried out, they are then smoked on coconut shells, which gives them their beautiful golden natural color and makes them stronger.
Next, the leather strap (or vegan leather strap) and closure are attached, and the traditional Batik fabric is sewn onto the interior.
And lastly... they are delivered to the hands of the customer!
Interested in getting one for yourself or as a gift? Check out our shop Nomad Nextdoor to find the perfect one for you!