St. Kitts — Part IV: Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor


Except for a quick stop at a t-shirt place during our last day on St. Kitts, Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor was the only place on the island where I shopped…twice. The first time, cruise ship travelers crowded the little boutique, making it inefficient to maneuver around the shop. However, the good thing about being there with the cruise ship travelers was that it guaranteed a demonstration of the batik process.

UPDATE March 6, 2012: A YouTube video of a Caribelle Batik demonstration is immediately below.


This woman is conducting a batik demonstration within the walls of Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.


If you click twice on this photo, you'll zoom in on the detail of the wax design on this fabric, as well as the hot wax kettle.


A couple of days later we returned. (Since our first visit, I had decided I wanted to purchase a few items. I also wanted to take photos of flowering plants on the grounds.) Arthur Jones, our taxi driver, suggested he get us to Caribelle Batik before the cruise ship traffic descended upon the grounds. We scurried to get there; I finished my shopping and photography just as the cruise ship traffic arrived.

I don’t know where the garments (shirts, dresses, etc.), handbags, placemats, potholders, cosmetic bags and too much more to remember are constructed. I do know that Caribelle Batik is the main (only?) outlet for selling their products, offers batik demonstrations, “exhibits” batiked fabric hanging on the lines outdoors, and has absolutely gorgeous plant life on the extensive grounds of Romney Manor.

My Lonely Planet book* says about Romney Manor, “Just above Old Road Town, the 17th-century Romney Manor sugar estate once belonged to the great-great-great-grandfather of Thomas Jefferson. Since 1964 it has been the home of Caribelle Batik, which sells handmade batik wraps, dresses, wall hangings and other items. There is also a small workshop where you can watch the colorful fabric being made. Don’t leave without a stroll amid the palms and poinsettias of the glorious gardens**, which are guarded by a magnificent 350-year-old*** saman tree.”


Saman Tree - 400 years old


If you click on one of the thumbnail images below, you can view all of them in a slideshow.

* * * * * * * *

For “St. Kitts — Part I” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part II: Vervet Monkeys” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part III: Lobster” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part IV: Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part V: Mr X’s Shiggidy Shack” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VI: Brimstone Hill Fortress” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VII: The Beach(es)” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part VIII: Plant Life” click here.
For “St. Kitts — Part IX: Miscellaneous” click here.

*Caribbean Islands, Lonely Planet, 2011, p. 683.

**In a future St. Kitts post, I’ll include more photos of the grounds.

***The sign at the Romney Manor entrance says the tree is 400 years old.

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


5 Responses to “St. Kitts — Part IV: Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor”

  1. Clara Hoover Says:

    I’m not a big fan of lobster, but Hal would have loved it. I would have enjoyed the batik demonstrations. So colorful!

  2. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Clara, I thought of you when I posted about the batik demonstration, knowing you would have enjoyed it.

  3. Wendy Gunderson Says:

    I had wished we had time to stop there on our trip, but we had so much to do on Nevis, we never left. Thanks for the video and photos! That tree is amazing!


  4. Marti Gunderson Carlson Says:

    Gorgeous tree! The batiks remind of Mother, who dabbled in the medium. By the way, who ended up with her batik of the person with the hat?

  5. Louise Gunderson Shimon Says:

    Thank you Clara, Wendy and Marti.

    Wendy, I would like to visit Nevis if we ever return to the St. Kitts/Nevis area. If we do, I might have to check with you to see what you recommend for activities/food.

    Marti, I’m glad you like the tree. Mother’s batik is here in Perry, along with the other paintings (except some stitchery) from Gunderland.

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