Jalan Sulawesi in Bali’s capital Denpasar is a stretch of road full of getting-dilapidated shophouses packed with all kinds of imaginable fabrics — as well as things like, um, cupboards, carved wooden chairs, plastic buckets and jewellery boxes.
Even if you’re not in the market for fabric, having a wander through and a sticky beak is an interesting way to spend an hour or three.
You’ll find plenty of traditional and not so traditional (that is, factory-made) batik, with some shops spilling around onto nearby Jalan Gajah Mada.
You’ll find plenty of glitzy, lacy fabrics piled into boxes outside and stacked to the ceilings inside.
If you’re on the hunt for a traditional Balinese kebaya, choose your fabric and get one whipped up here.
You have to hunt a little harder for the offbeat stuff, but it’s there.
Some fabrics are used for traditional purposes, but you might be able to think of something else to do with them.
You’ll find fabrics you didn’t know you needed, even if you only planned to window shop.
You’ll find unexpected prettiness in the ordinary.
You’ll find off-the-rack scarves, which may or may not be silk.
Go on, take one in every colour.
You’ll find something for the English Premier League fan in your life. We all have one.
Prices may be marked, or they may be negotiable. If they’re negotiable, counter-offer about half the initial asking price, but be prepared to go up from there.
On the streets, where there aren’t more boxes of fabrics, you’ll find fruit, flowers and sweet treats, with vendors spilling out from nearby Pasar Badung.
And when you’re done, pop around to a coffee shop that has been running since 1935, Bhineka Djaja. A cappuccino will set you back 10,000 rupiah, and you can use the loo too.
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 17th April, 2015.