Batik Semarang Patterns

The characteristics of the batik patterns from Semarang do not differ significantly from batik patterns in other coastal towns on the North coast of Java. These features include; they are not bound to certain rules, therefore they are applied more freely; the use of decorations of flora and fauna and the use of large, detailed decorations and bright colors. Even though similarities between the batik patterns from Semarang and from other coastal areas can be identified, however, there are minor differences in detail, such as the use of colour. In general, the color of batik Semarang is an orange-red color. The basic color for batik Demak is dark brown and for Kudus is it blue. Besides the differences in use of color there is also a Chinese influence evident on the batik patterns from Semarang. For batik Semarang  a preference is given to wildlife features such as peacocks, butterflies, roosters, herons, birds of paradise, phoenixes and other (Yuliani 2009:42).

Batik Semarang Patterns

The inhabitants of Semarang used to produce batik patterns that correspond to the wishes of the artisans themselves. Therefore, the batik cloths were made without a standard motif, hence in contrast to the artisans in Surakarta and Jogjakarta. The batik cloths were produced by  artisans with the intention to wear it themselves. Thus, the batik patterns from Semarang are based on the wishes, the imagination, the expressions and the creativity of the person who made the batik cloths. In Semarang, the batik patterns were never standardized nor appointed by name as was done with the batik patterns from the Principalities (Yuliani 2009:43).

Characteristic Features of Wayang Figures

In older times the inhabitants from Semarang used naturalistic and realistic decorations for their batik cloths such as fish, butterflies, birds, chickens, birds, trees, hills and houses. These naturalistic and realistic decorations became characteristic features that were manufactured by the communities on the North coast of Java. This characteristic can be interpreted as the character of the coastal communities who were more open en expressionistic in contrast to the communities from the mainland of Java, like Surakarta and Jogjakarta. Their character is more determined by a system of symbols, norms and values under the authority of the ruler (Yuliani 2009:43-44).


Reference: Yuliati, Dewi, 2009, Mengungkap Sejarah dan Pesona Motif: Batik Semarang. Semarang: Badan Penerbit Universitas Diponegoro Press.

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