Batik Motifs

The patterns, symbols, and designs of Indonesia’s signature craft.

 

Batik, originating from the Javanese word meaning ‘painted’, uses a wax-resist dyeing process to produce colorful textiles. Developed on the island of Java, lines and patterns created in Indonesian batik are particularly symbolic, and in 2009 UNESCO named Batik in Indonesia as a Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

This diamond-shaped motif, called “Sawa,” is actually a representation of the mythical bird Garuda in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Don’t be fooled by its simplicity – the wide-winged shape represents power, force and speed.

Ikat Kepala/Udeng 64
Unknown 1950
From the collection of Galeri Batik YBI
From Solo, Central Java, this Batik has the style of Sogan. Motifs on body is Sawat Garuda and Modang, and background is Galaran Endat. Made by hand on cotton cloth and natural dyes.

Reserved for royalty, the parallel and diagonal patterns of this Batik signify authority and quickness in motion, which expects the wearer to act fast. Called the “Parang,” the detailed motif in these lines are often interpreted as ocean waves.

Kain Panjang 125
Unknown 1950
From the collection of Galeri Batik YBI
From Banyumas, Central Java, this Batik has the style of Sogan. Motifs on body is Parang Seling. Made by hand on cotton cloth and natural dyes.

Floral patterns are common in Batik, decorating the textiles with curves, color and looser lines. Sacred in Hindi-Buddhist belief systems, the lotus blossom often appears in batik textiles. Other flowers that are frequent favorites include the frangipani, hibiscus and lilies.

#0157 Kain Panjang
Unknown
From the collection of Unit Pengelola Museum Seni
This batik long cloth known as the “Pagi/Sore” cloth (morning/afternoon) that has two different motif. On one side of the “Parang” (slope) and the other side has “Merak Ngibing” (Peacock Dance) decorative pattern.

Kain Panjang 362
Unknown 2000
From the collection of Galeri Batik YBI
From Cirebon, West Java, this Batik has the style of Batik Pesisir. Motif on body is Piring Selampad Gandeng, head is Bunga Lotus, border and background is Nitik. Made by hand on cotton cloth and chemical dyes. This piece is from Batik Komar.

Kain Panjang Pagi Sore Bolak Balik 447
Unknown1950
From the collection of Galeri Batik YBI
From Kudus, East Java, this Batik has the style of Kudusan. Motifs on body is Tabur Bunga and background is Sulur Nitik and Kuwuk Nitik. Made by hand on cotton cloth and chemical dyes.

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