Show us the colour!
Pelangi means Rainbow in Indonesian and that’s the inspiration of Pak Komang who directs the printing house where we are making our new season prints.
Arriving at Pelangi Bali is a cacophony of our new seasons colours and motifs! Today they’re printing our decadently feathered peacock for the coming summer collection and the intricacy of the process is totally fascinating to behold.
There is freshly laundered fabric everywhere; hanging from the ceiling, stretched out on the long print tables, bundled up on pallets and tied around the heads of the print makers samurai style to keep their sweat from falling into their intricate work. Light glances in from strategically placed windows in the roof. As the day unfolds the movement of clouds across the sun causes the light to change radically in the studio and it is the high and bright light that these guys love the best
Today’s beautiful bird, with its surreal volume of feathers cascading in all directions, has been hand drawn by WE’AR in-house graphic talent, Rully Rumantra. The fabric is spread out on the seemingly endless, long sticky tables. The print makers drape our already dyed fabric across the tables run up and down, smoothing out wrinkles as they prepare their ‘canvas’ for the team art that is about to manifest.
Large silk screens, each of which will create one of the colours in the final print art, are prepared. They have areas blocked out with blue that stops the printing ink form coming through in certain areas and allows it in others. Our peacock is being made Summer Black with Bright Olive green highlights so buckets of these inks are being prepared now in the colourist’s room. This is a highly specialised job requiring artistic flair as well as excellent technical knowledge and it is the domain of just one of the team at Pelangi.
The first colour to go down before my very eyes is the vivid green that reveals the glancing eyes in the peacock’s feathers. The blank fabric has been premarked so the screen can be placed fast and accurately as the photo-reactive ink sets fast in the bright Bali sun. One man stands on either side of the long table and it’s all on! The leader pours ink onto one side and then pushes it with a broad scraper half way across the screen where it grabbed by his teammate who completes the pass and then sends it back. This process repeats at high speed like a dance as they make their way along the length of the table and fabric.
Once the green has completely dried it is time to add the black. Again, the placement needs to be precise but watching the guys laughing and smoking as they stretch forward and backward it seems like they could do it in their sleep. Once both colours are completed the fabric is lifted to tack in the rafters and left to hang here in the roof for final drying. Then it’s washing and folding and off to our work room to be cut into….can’t tell you yet, it’ll ruin the surprise but I can tell you it’s STUNNING and you’re going to want one!
Jyoti and Josefin going crazy in colours at Pelangi Bali