Unlike the grand but rigid royal batik of Central Java with its symbolisation of power, batik pesisir ("coastal batik") is commercial, fashionable and used by the common folk on their daily lives. It has more variety in colours and motifs due to foreign influence brought in by foreign merchants.
Due to strong foreign influence -especially the arrival of Islam in the 16th century- batik pesisir is characterised by its looser form of pattern and colour variety.
Traditional batik pesisir uses red and blue instead of the favoured brown of Yogya and Solo.
It has, among others, non figurative floral motif due to Islamic restrictions on figurative drawing.
Unlike batik kraton (batik reserved for the royal family of Yogya and Solo, with strict guidelines for usage and social rank), batik pesisir is commercial.
Batik pesisir started to really progress around 19th century, when India, the main supplier of textile in Java at the time, experienced decline in production and people switched to batik cloth.
This type of batik was at its peak when more foreign merchants started to get involved in the batik industry, namely the Chinese and Indo-Dutch merchants.