Batik Keraton

A piece of cloth that flourishes in the royal environment, full of symbols and meanings.

Kain Panjang 854 (1950) by unknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Batik Keraton

Batik Keraton or Pedalaman is batik that flourishes in the royal environment, especially Yogyakarta and Surakarta.  In the early Dutch colonial era, this region was called Vorstenlanden, which means the territory of the Islamic Mataram

Kain Panjang 818 (1950) by unknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Batik Keraton began to develop during the Islamic Mataram Kingdom around the 16th century. Batik Keraton is closely related to the traditions, customs, and beliefs in the royal palace. In addition, it is full of symbols and meanings.

Kain Panjang 561 (1950) by unknownMuseum Batik Indonesia

Keraton batik generally has geometric motifs and is dominated by the colors sogan, indigo, and white.

Ajining Diri Soko Lathi (2019) by Dok. Museum Batik IndonesiaMuseum Batik Indonesia

Ajining dhiri ana ing lathi, ajining raga ana ing busana

Javanese people believe in the noble saying "ajining dhiri ana ing lathi, ajining raga ana ing busana" which means that a person's dignity is seen from his speech and the dignity of the body is seen from his clothes. Clothing is important in the social life of Javanese society.

Studioportret van een zittende jonge Javaanse man en vrouw dragend een batik sarong (ca. 1870 - ca. 1912) by Céphas, KassianRijksmuseum

Batik as an outfit

Batik cloth is always present as clothing in various occasions, both Keprabon clothing, ceremonial clothing, and daily clothing in the royal environment.

Javaanse hoffunctionarissen (ca. 1820 - ca. 1870) by anoniemRijksmuseum

Batik as a royal art

"Batik art is one of the few 'palace arts' that stands for a philosophy based on spiritual discipline." 

"The ego must be reduced to achieve perfect harmony with the batik technique or design."

Iwan Tirta in the book "Batik:  sebuah Lakon".

Tex 17 Proc: Printing Block, Batik.LIFE Photo Collection

The Vorstenlanden region is now known as Yogyakarta and Surakarta. Both regions have their own characteristics. 

Een gamelan orkest bij een poppenspel (1890 - 1900) by Céphas, KassianRijksmuseum

Batik Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta batik can be recognized by its characteristics:
1. It has large geometric motifs
2. Has a bright white cloth background
3. Generally uses ukel, kawung, and nitik motifs.

(Djoemena, 1986, 21-22)

Batik Tulis Kawung Mangkoro (2000/2000)Museum Batik Indonesia

Kawung Mangkoro Motifs

This Yogyakarta motif depicts the fruit of the palm tree (kolang-kaling) and the crown of Mangkoro.

Kawung Mangkoro Motifs

Kawung motifs mean perfection, purity, and holiness. Mangkoro symbolizes the hope that there will be no obstacles and obstacles in everything.

Vrouw aan het batikken (1860 - 1890) by Woodbury & PageRijksmuseum

Batik Surakarta

Surakarta batik can be recognized by its characteristics:
1. It has a combination of geometric and non-geometric motifs with a smaller size
2. It has a brownish-colored background (sogan)
3. Generally uses fine sawutan motifs and parang varieties.


Batik Tulis Truntum Sari (2019/2019)Museum Batik Indonesia

Truntum Sari Motif

This distinctive Surakarta motif was created by Kanjeng Ratu Kencana, Empress of Pakubuwono III, depicting stars sparkling at night. 

Truntum Sari Motif

The Truntum Sari motif is a sign of affection from Empress Pakubuwono III to the King.

Dutch East Indies Java Sultan's CourtLIFE Photo Collection

Larangan Motif

Royal motifs are often called restricted motifs, referring to certain batik motifs that can only be used by the palace environment such as the Parang, Semen, Rujak Senthe, Kawung, and Huk motifs.

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Batik Keraton

Batik Keraton or Pedalaman is batik that develops in the royal environment such as Yogyakarta, and Surakarta. 

Keraton batik is known as a Larangan motif, which is a motif that can only be worn by the Royal family.

Credits: Story

Tirta, Iwan. 2009. Iwan Tirta: Batik: sebuah Lakon. Jakarta: Gaya Favorit Press.  

Credits: All media
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