The art of Kerawang, or cut-out embroidery
The story of Uma and Leopold's collections starts with a journey to the island of Bali, where talented indigenous artisans develop our unique creations. Driven by a love of traditional craft, each of our pieces is handmade and takes up to a month to be made. For us, this means we can craft our garments giving attention to detail - highlighting the care, the love and the artisan skills that go into our brand.
Many of our pieces are crafted using a special type of embroidery - Kerawang, a traditional Balinese art dating back to the 17th century. An art that has for generations been an embodiment of the culture and heritage of Bali - The skilled hands of the Balinese have been passed on the art of Kerawang from one generation to the next and to this day, traditional techniques are still used.
Kerawang is of high artistic value - The uniqueness of the work, the intricate beauty of the motif, and the quality and artistry possessed by a single piece of Kerawang makes it an increasingly valuable cultural product.
Compared to Batik or Songket, Kerawang requires a much more complex and unique manufacturing process.The motif to be embroidered must first be made in a block graph on paper. After that, we cut the desired fabric to be used as a base material. Once the fabric is prepared, we remove some thread layers from the fabric with precision. The removal of the original fabric’s thread takes diligence and skill, and must be done with immaculate precision. Once there is enough space available on the fabric, it is ready to be hand-embroidered, and the spaces filled with motifs.
Designing and making beautiful garments is the essence of Uma and Leopold. Our hands-on approach of crafting our garments is enjoying an inspiring resurgence in the design world. Making a piece of Kerawang cloth can take anywhere from one week to one month, depending on the type of fabric, yarn used for embroidery and the intricacy of the designs. Because of the complex and time consuming process of making Kerawang, it is an art that may soon become obsolete. We want to keep this dying art alive by working closely with the Kerawang artisans.
Kerawang is the result of perseverance, hard work, and skill of the Karawang artisans – all of which are necessary to produce this beautiful piece of embroidery.