The Bebali Foundation botanical dye garden and natural dye studio take up 15% of the Umajati property and are a major expression of the retreat’s commitment to environmental responsibility. This dye garden is dedicated to the documentation and sharing of the archipelago’s natural dye knowledge, with plants collected from across Indonesia labelled by local and scientific names and usage. The work of the dye studio supports continuity of tradition and improvement of livelihoods by researching and quantifying indigenous dye recipes, and exploring new applications for ancestral knowledge.
Visitors to the garden, and guests at Umajati Retreat, can enrol in the studio’s half-day batik workshop that features hands-on batik work on a small textile, with a guided walk of the botanical dye plant garden, explanations of the archipelago’s traditional dye processes, and an indigo demonstration on the results of participants’ batik work.
The Bebali Foundation is a nonprofit that works with over a thousand weavers on twelve islands across Indonesia to incubate community businesses, responsibly manage forests and natural resources, and sustain traditional culture. The foundation’s for-profit partner is Threads of Life, a fair trade gallery in Ubud that works directly with the same communities, commissioning heirloom-quality textiles and baskets made with natural dyes in order to sustain culture and alleviate poverty. The owners of Umajati Retreat also own Threads of Life.