Making our Beach Headrests
How it all started
Putu, a local Hindu monk, and an experienced bamboo artisan, was presented to us by Sebastian, a mutual friend. Putu had developed an incredibly beautiful and convenient beach headrest for the beach. Fred tried it one day while he devoured one of his books on the beach. After using it for a couple of hours, Fred found the headrest was an incredibly good idea. It was a beautiful product, with a clear mission to make people’s lives easier. Moreover, it was 100% made out of natural bamboo. It couldn’t be a better fit for us. We knew we had to start working with Putu!
We sat down with Putu and his wife Manik to develop the beach headrest as a product that could be enjoyed by more people. We took his original design and with very small tweaks we were able to create a Beach Headrest that is sturdy, yet small enough to be carried around wherever you want, and overall beautiful so you could enjoy your rest outdoors with a bit of style.
Making our Beach Headrest – The Bali Boo Style!
Putu has been a bamboo artisan for the best part of the last 25 years. As such, he has developed a pretty unparalleled knowledge of bamboo and its properties. To make the Beach Headrest, Putu first has to collect the bamboo, which he buys from a local farmer with whom he has been friends with for over 20 years. The bamboo Putu uses for the beach headrest is the oldest type of bamboo you can find on the island of Bali. With only one stalk (that can measure up to 30 meters) Putu can make hundreds of pieces. How he does so much with so little is still a mystery to us, but he sure knows how to make sustainable use of the materials he needs.
Once the bamboo is dry and ready to work with, putu cuts it into small strips of around 30cm long. He sands them down one by one until they feel beautifully soft. With the help of a local tailor, he creates the two straps of fabric. The top one is padded to give you maximum comfort.
Then the whole piece starts to find its shape. With the help of small twigs, and some nails, Putu arranges the pieces one by one so they fit in perfectly. Once everything is done, he makes a final check to ensure the piece is strong and stable.
The Beach Headrest sets also include a beautiful sarong to lie on the beach. Knowing that wind is always a nuisance when you’re trying to relax, Putu also created 4 sticks that serve as anchors to each one of the corners. To make them, Putu grabs a piece of bamboo which he cuts down into a special shape. He then decorates them with a small string, making them also a beautiful (and very useful) addition to the Beach Headrest set!
The Limited Edition of the Beach Headrest also includes a beautiful basket that is made by Manik, Putu’s wife, and the women of their village in northern Bali. Each basket takes up to a day to complete. They are a real piece of handicraft art. To make each basket, also known as Keben, Manik makes small strips from the same bamboo that Putu uses. She then weaves them together using a local technique.