Recently, we posted a picture on our instagram account and were completely blown away by the response. It was a simple picture of some bags hanging up in a stall. It’s easy to overlook many of the knick-knacks that are commonly found throughout the markets in Ubud. But every now and then an item pops into our consciousness that we MUST HAVE!!! Enter…the Rattan Roundie (at least, that’s what we are calling it)!
Rattan products are made from a process of weaving palm leaves together and there is an abundance of them around the Island of the Gods. These bags however, are made from a different albeit similar material called Ate (that’s the Indonesian word); it is a similar type of woven reed similar to rattan products. It seems, that when local artisans weave this plant into a circular bag it has no choice but to take the world by storm!
The basket-style bags are currently bang on trend, earlier this year British Vogue labelled the basket bag ‘a holiday wardrobe staple’. But before you go putting a second mortgage on the house to afford that D&G designer must-have, listen up… You guys have been asking us endlessly for details about where to get ’em in the hood and we’re listening! Fortunately for us, we live on the island that creates the babies and can find the best deals for you!
First point of call is deciding which sized Roundie you prefer. There are three predominant sizes, however the regular size is by far the easiest to find. The size determines the price of the bag (which we will get to shortly!). Each store or market stall may have slightly differing dimensions of each bag but generally you can expect a diameter of 15cm for the small size, 20cm for the regular and 35cm for the large.
The most basic style of the woven basket is a standard circular pattern (as pictured above). However some have more open weaves with holes in the surface, others have more intricate shapes woven in that reveal the textile inside. The interiors are lined with fabric connected to each side of the bag to prevent all your goodies falling out. Most bags have a built in woven clasp that wraps around a button, however some have the option of a leather clasp with a stud. Every bag we came across had a long leather strap.
WHERE TO SHOP + PRICE
We checked out a boutique store that specialises in rattan (or ‘Ate’) bags on Jalan Hanoman and were not disappointed! The style of the bags were more diverse than standard market finds. Here was where we found the style with the leather/stud clasp. They also had more intricate woven designs and a variation of sizes including wider bags than most. Expect to pay Rp. 450k (USD$34) upwards for a bag from a store like this (bargaining is unlikely to yield results). The designs are more intricate and these guys gotta pay rent!
The most convenient market for travellers through Ubud, you will find the rattan roundie here if you have a good search. The price for the regular size is around Rp. 250k (USD$19) but if youre bargaining skills are good you may get it down to Rp. 200k (USD$15).
A.k.a. the handicraft street! From Jalan Raya Ubud head to the Arjuna Statue and turn left (north). You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for stores that are piled high with rattan objects; usually different types of baskets and boxes. There are 3-4 stores before you hit the large S-bend in the road in Petulu. Then comes the fun of scouring these stores to find the occasional Rattan Roundie hanging in the midst of the organised chaos (it’s super fun!). The bags here are generally the most basic style. Make sure you check out the condition in good lighting before you buy. You can easily bargain down to Rp. 200k (USD$15) for the regular size here. If you drive a hard bargain, maybe less.
SUKAWATI MARKET (OUR PICK):
Sukawati is our recommended pick to find the Rattan Roundie as it has quite a few shops that are primarily devoted to this style of bag. Sukawati is about a 20 minute drive (by motorbike) outside of Ubud, and it is way less-touristy as a result. There is a street that divides the two main sections of the market, this is the street you want to hit! There are 3-4 stores here filled with the bags and if you continue to the end of that street and turn left or right you will find a couple more. The small bag was Rp. 170k (USD$13) (bargained to 150k), regular size Rp. 250k (USD$19)(bargained to 200k) and large Rp. 450k (USD$34). There are a bunch of styles here including ones that aren’t round and equally cute. And of course… the more bags you buy, the cheaper they become!