Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Fabric shopping in Bali: Alta Moda in Kuta

In June 2014 we had the opportunity to go to Bali. This was the girls first trip overseas so it was very exciting for them. It had been such a long time since I had been overseas so I was very excited, too. My passport was so far passed expiry that I had to apply for a whole new one. In fact, when I showed the girls my passport they were fascinated by the stamps from different countries, but then they said, "Who is that in the photo?" Yep. That would be me. Last century. Before I had children. When I used to be able to travel the world. Thanks, girls.

Anyway, we had the time of our lives in Bali. Three beautiful weeks in the hot humid weather. We totally relaxed. No one got sick. Our youngest did remarkably well with her egg allergy, which is the main reason why we haven't travelled overseas with the girls before. It was such a great success and the girls have now gotten the international travelling bug.

I was particularly keen on this trip to buy some batik fabric for a particular quilt I had in mind, so before I went I was madly researching fabric shops in Bali. We have some Balinese friends who were able to help give me some guidance. You will find fabric in Bali unlike anything you have seen before. The colours are amazing! And the weaves and feel and shine are incredible. It just makes you want to sew formal wear!!

In the next few posts I will be sharing with you my experience of fabric shopping in Bali. First stop was Alta Moda in Kuta. I had read some other blog posts about this shop and I was keen to see it with my own eyes just for the luxuriousness of it. It turns out it wasn't that far from our hotel in Legian, which is a dangerous thing. Let me just say I could walk there easily, however I had significant trouble walking back with kilos and kilos of fabric. Here are the details:

Alta Moda Bali
Jl. Patih Jelantik
Istana Kuta Galeria
Blok Entrance I No. 03 - 06
Kuta 8036, Bali
Phone: (62) 0361-769200 / 203
E-mail: AMBALI@alta-moda.com

I do need to say that this is not a cheap fabric shop. You will not find bargains here, however for me, I found what I was looking for and for less than what I could get it for here in Australia. There are no fabric shops near me so I always take that into consideration. If I am after a particular fabric it could be a 30 min to 1 hour drive away, and I may not find the right one. I was after lycra for swimwear and physie leotards and I got what I wanted at this shop. Alta Moda is one of the most expensive fabric shops in Bali, but it is really worth visiting for the experience.

Alta Moda was under some construction when I was there, which will be finished now. They were adding another level to the top. They had already converted their underground car parking to more shop space for fabric, but as you will see, there is so much stock that another floor is definitely needed. There are a lot of staff on each floor and they will walk with you wherever you go. This is the Asian way of shopping. We are not used to it, and many Australians feel like they are been watched or not trusted, but that is just a part of the service here. You have to accept it gracefully.

This is what it looks like from the outside. There is a tailor here, too, and I believe if you are getting some tailoring done the fabrics are cheaper, but we weren't using that service. There was also a curtain maker here.

The first thing you notice when you walk in is the air conditioning!!! It is wonderfully cool in here, and then you notice the quality of the shop fittings: gold chandeliers, high ceilings, the scroll work on every shelf, the staff, etc.

This is from the elevator at the back of the first floor, looking towards the front door.

As soon as you walk in, an attendant will join you. They will stay with you the whole time and take you from floor to floor. I was lucky enough to have the owner as my attendant. He had worked in Haymarket in Sydney for many years.

On the ground floor there are a lot of traditional Balinese fabrics. There were quite a few local women purchasing fabric for new traditional dress. We were visiting Bali during Galungan and Kuningan.

There were also traditional batik fabrics, but not the kind I was after for a quilt I had in mind.

The lycra was on the ground floor to the left as you walk in. You can take the stair to the other levels (with bolts of fabric lining the stair) or the golden elevator. This the view from the elevator door. Every floor looks like this. Fabric everywhere, as far as you can see.

I think this is the top floor. So many fabrics I am confused now. There was one floor for bridal and formal fabrics with the most divine laces, satins, brocades, etc.

Notice the chandelier. There is a lot of seating around if you would prefer to be seated and the staff will bring fabric to you.

This was the entrance to the car park level. Now it is a window with a display mannequin.

And there is a stepped ramp that used to be the driveway access to the underground car park. Who needs car parking when you can have more fabric???

 And this is the bottom of the driveway section, where you would be starting to look for a car space.

And the next few are the car park.

There were lots of modern dressmaking fabrics available.

My family dropped me there and went to a walk to find some cold drinks and snacks. They knew I would be a while. But when they came back they were pretty amazed at it all, especially the golden elevator.

And here we are in the mens department. I have never in my life seen so many shirting or suit fabrics. This was the first floor up from the ground floor and you could look over the rail down to the lobby. This is just one section.

Notice the detail in the architraves?

This is the girls favourite floor, formal fabrics of course.

Yes, there were mirrored walls and flat screen TVs and lounges everywhere.

This detailing was everywhere. I love the enclosed lighting.

It certainly was an experience. I really enjoyed shopping here just for the total bombardment of colours and textures. I haven't used any of the lycra yet, but I am going to have a go at sewing swimwear this summer so stayed tuned.

In my next post I will tell you about the fabric shops in Denpasar in Jalan Sulawesi. Much cheaper fabric, but you have to be prepared before you go.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my thank you so much for your blog 4th time to bali shortly . And thanks to you I will this time be able to find fabric .think I will challenge myself and go into Denpassar. No gifts for people this time just fabric .. so once again thank you for your wonderful blog ...sharon ☺