The Love of Batik Pekalongan

A small bamboo pencil like stick with a copper tip dipped into liquid wax. Silently, lines are smoothy grazed onto a white fabric, forming curves and curls until it transforms into a painting. Each pattern has its own meaning. Each strand has its own value. Each style reflects a noble culture that identifies Indonesia as a nation.

When you think about Batik, what usually comes to mind is the shades of light and dark brown and the typical aristocratic design of Yogyakarta and Solo. Yet in fact, Indonesia has many different pattern and colors from different regions. And Pekalongan appears especially lively and enthusiastic to exhibit their colorful work. Batik artisans, craftsmen and canting makers help enliven this event to provide a means of learning and reinforce the importantance of education about batik from Pekalongan.

Pekalongan is one of the centers of Batik in Indonesia that can claim many achievements. Batik artisans from a small town located not far from the capital city of Central Java, Semarang, made it into the Guinness Book of Record in mid March 2007 when they created a 1,200 meter long and 1.5 meter wide batik. Even more remarkable, a thousand artisans came together to do all the work in just one day.

Pekalongan batik is very distinctive. Unlike batik creations from other cities, the skilled hands of batik artisans from Pekalongan have produced a hereditary pattern that is thickly nuanced with Oriental, Indian, and Middle Eastern influences. Its bright colors and dynamic motifs are a result of engagement that the north coast of Java has had with various in the past, such as the Chinese, Arabs, Malay and Japanese.

Interestingly, the foreign influences do not wash away the Javanese wisdom of art, but instead compliment it. Take a look at Chinese influenced Encim and Klengenan batik and the Jlamprang motif that is apparently inspired by India and Arabia, also the Dutch Pagi Sore batik and Hokokai batik that has envolved since the Japanese occupation.

Additionally, the batik industry from this city that is now known as the City of Batik, relies entirely on hundreds of small businesses. This is what makes its development more rapid than other batik industries in different regions. Centered in the coastal area, namely in Buaran, Pekajangan and Wonopringgo, most Pekalongan batik productions are made in residential homes since many generations ago.

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