A Virtual Tour of The ANDROSIA Batik Factory
All Androsia fabrics are hand batiked and hand dyed so no two yards are exactly alike. Androsia prints feature shells, birds, fish and flowers that are dyed in colors like guava pink, sea green, gold, and aquatide. All of our batik designs are created on Andros Island, Bahamas in our factory by our first employee when the factory was started in 1973, Merton Thompson.
THE WAX ROOM - Far right as you look at the factory, upper level
The batik process is an ancient one. We make our own stamps out of foam and wire. After a design is chosen, wax is carefully hand applied by using a variety of objects. Everything from tjantings (Indonesian wax "pencils") to stamps, turkey basters, paint rollers, paint brushes, and other tools are used to create the unique designs. These we have adapted for different design purposes. Batik is a resist process. The design is printed on the fabric with wax. As you will notice, although this is a production process, each yard is hand done. This means every yard will be unique. Please feel free to step into the room and ask any questions, but mind the wax pots - - HOT, HOT, HOT!
While the design is being waxed, the Androsia name is also incorporated into the design, twice on each yard of fabric. After waxing, the fabric is ready to dye.
THE DYE ROOM - Next to the wax room
The small room with the window is our dye refrigerator where we stock our cold water reactive dyes. These dyes are expensive, but they yield some of the brightest colours in the world. They also display some of the best light fast, wash fast and colour fast properties. We dye using the exhaust method. The wax is removed after the fabric has been dyed.
All fabric is hand dyed in large tubs. Depending on the colour, the fabric must be constantly hand agitated in a tub of dye from 1 ½ to 2 hours. The dye saturates the fabric leaving the wax imprint white. Wax is then removed from the fabric by moving through ten washes of 190 degree water. Heat resistant aprons and gloves are used for pushing the fabric in the tubs of hot water. Any shrinkage that occurs in the natural fibre fabrics happens during wax removal so that all Androsia garments and fabrics are preshrunk.
Once the wax is removed, the fabric is moved to clothes lines in the factory's back yard to dry under the sun. Brilliantly dyed fabrics blowing in the breeze is a favorite photo taken by visitors on tours of the factory. Flying over Andros Island, the backyard of Androsia is easy to locate from way up in the air, as hundreds of yards of colour, dry under the sun.
The fabric is then inspected and rolled into bolts for cutting into garments or shipping directly to customers.
THE CUTTING ROOM - At the bottom of the stairs, past the sewing room
We have cutting tables, rolling machines, long blade cutters, short blade cutters, etc. Our patterns are graded to the American standard size. First we outline the patterns on marking paper. Then the fabric is laid in plys on tables, marking paper put on top, and the patterns cut. Our current line fabrics are stored on wooden shelves. We do not sell these designs or colour until our customer's season has ended
The fabric moves from the dye room to the cutting room.
THE SEWING ROOM - Before the cutting room
The work in the sewing room is done on a teamwork concept. Quality is a number one priority. A method of piecework is utilized where every garment is timed. The team is paid for the garment as it is completed. Bonuses and incentives are involved. Two or three individuals make up a team. There are four inspection stops for each garment - sewing, clipping, pressing and shipping.
In this particular example, the final product is a table cloth for the Pizza Hut restaurant in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
OUTLET STORE - The aqua building catty corner to our factory
Come and browse through our wide selection of firsts, seconds, over runs, one of a kind samples, previous designs, and ...
Take a unique piece of the Bahamas home with you.
If you should find yourself on Andros Island we would be delighted to give you a tour of our factory at Fresh Creek. Just stop in
and, as we say in our country, "May we be strangers no more".