When visiting Indonesia, you will definitely find batik patterns
20 Nov 2022
The word batik comes from two words in Javanese, "amba" which means wide, and the term "matic" which means to make dots. As such, batik is a textile that uses wax and dye to create dots arranged in stunning patterns and designs.
When visiting Indonesia, you will definitely find batik patterns. Here are the stories behind the most popular designs:
1. Batik Parang: Symbol of Security
A geometric batik is Batik Parang. This batik has a long and narrow symbol similar to a sword, machette or the letter "S". Parang is a sacred batik that dates back to the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Agung of Mataram. Danang Sutawijaya created this batik when he observed a stretch of jagged rocks on the south coast. There is also another Indonesian folktale about the Javanese prince Panji wearing a machete batik and thus being protected. This is why many Javanese consider the Batik Parang a symbol of protection and safety.
Kawung is a type of traditional woven cloth from Yogyakarta. Kawung developed in the 18th century during the Yogyakarta Sultanate and was made of geometric patterns. The geometric design represents the fruit of the areca nut tree. This cloth is mostly enjoyed by the royal family of the Sultanate and only people who have royal lineage are allowed to wear kawung.
Sekar Jagad is a traditional embroidery design that has a flower-like pattern. This word can be traced back to the 18th century. The word Sekar Jagad comes from the Dutch word "kar", which means "map", and the Javanese term "jagad", which means "world". The word Sekar also means "flower" in Indonesian. Therefore, Sekar Jagad symbolizes the beauty of Indonesia's diversity. Batik Sekar Jagad originates from the Bantul area in Yogyakarta.
Truntum, a popular type of batik from Solo, was created by Kanjeng Ratu Kencana, daughter of Sunan Pakubuwana III. People believe that the Queen, saddened by the King's infidelities, creates these star patterns while looking up at the night sky. The King admired his wife's perseverance. This legend popularized the truntum as a symbol of resurrected love, making it a favorite among brides.
Ulamsari Mas is a traditional batik design originating from Bali. Woven in vivid motifs with images of prawns and fish, fishing is one of the livelihoods of the people on this island as the island is surrounded by a wealth of marine life. Out of respect for the island's natural resources, the Ulamsari Mas patterns reflect the livelihoods and prosperity of the Balinese people.
Buketan is a Javanese batik style that is heavily influenced by the Dutch. This batik was created by Eliza van Zuylen, a Dutch designer, who combines Javanese motifs with Art Nouveau patterns. It is said that he would arrange cutouts of dried flowers on a sheet of paper and turn them into batik patterns, creating the image of a true flower bouquet. This Buketan batik originates from Pekalongan, Central Java.