Let's start with the textiles. The two main sorts of textiles you can find in Bali are ''Batik'' and ''Ikat''.
Batik is a patterned fabric obtained by pouring wax on the fabric as a resist agent. Once the wax has been applied, the dye cannot penetrate the fabric, thus creating the various patterns.
Although Batik is created with woven fabric, For Ikat the dye is applied before weaving. The patterns on the fabric are obtained by tightly tying the threads together where the designs are needed, so the ''tied parts'' resist the dye.
Woman weaving Ikat the traditionnal way in a weaving factory near Ubud
There are a few more other textiles in Bali, but these two are the ''main ones''
As for the traditional dress, it is still commonly seen in Bali. Most people wear it only to the temple, where it is mandatory, but it does happen to see people wear it every day. For the women, it consists of a Sarong, a rectangular piece of fabric wrapped around the lower body, held in place by a narrow sash. For everyday they wear what they want for the upper body, but to go to the temple they wear a long sleeved tight blouse, made of lace or a light embroidered cotton.
Young Balinese girls at our hotel getting ready to go to a ceremony. They were nice enough to let me take a picture of them!
The men also wear a sarong, but it is just tied in a very different way. They also have to weat a piece of fabric on the head. I don,t know how they call it, but one of them told me that it is worn to ''keep the anger inside'' I must admit that since the begining of our stay in Bali, I have never seen one angry Balinese!
Man wearing traditional costume. See that smile? That's part of the balinese tradition too!
And now my own attempt at dressing Balinese!
Not so bad, eh? I fought with the sarong (not a real batik, I just got a cheap one from the market, but it does the job) for a good twenty minutes and finally asked one of the young balinese girls at our hotel to show me how to wrap it properly. I have adopted it since!
If you're interested in seeing more of our trip in Bali, you can visit our billingual travel blog at: http://lemondeauboutdesdoigts.blogspot.com