The Jakarta Post
One of the corners of Kampung Batik Laweyan in Surakarta, Central Java. (JP/Ganug Nugroho Adi)
As a signature fabric of Indonesia, batik can be found in big as well as small cities across the archipelago. Tourists visiting each region can expect to find batik with many different motifs.
Besides offering discounted products, batik kampungs also allow visitors to see how the fabric is created and even participate in making it as they serve as both tourist destinations and batik education sites.
Following are six batik kampungs you can visit as compiled by KompasTravel:
1. Kampung Batik Laweyan, Surakarta, Central Java
This place is one of several batik kampungs in Surakarta that one can visit. Laweyan is said to be an ancient settlement that dates back to the Pajang kingdom of the 1500s.
Dozens of houses here serve as batik stores, workshops where they make the fabric and create new patterns and home for the artisans.
Batik Solo is identical with soil colors and available at various prices. The cheapest one is printed batik, while the most expensive is hand-drawn batik with natural dyes.
2. Kampung Batik Semarang, Central Java
This kampung is said to be the birth place of batik Semarang after it “fell into a slumber” during Dutch occupation.
Located near Kota Lama and Johar Market, the kampung serves as a center of new motifs that reflect Semarang, such as asem, blekok, gombel and other things.
Kampung Batik Semarang is also a great photo opportunity as it has many Instagrammable batik murals.
Batik prices here are varied, from Rp 50,000 (US$3.32) for printed batik to Rp 5 million for hand-drawn batik featuring Semarang-style motifs.
For those who are not looking for new clothes or fabric, this place also sells various batik accessories, from bags and shoes to keychains.
3. Kampung Batik Giriloyo, Yogyakarta
This center of Giriloyo hand-drawn batik is a popular destination for tourists wanting to learn how to make batik. A hamlet in Wukirsari village, Imogiri district, Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, Giriloyo sells batik education tourism packages.
Included in the packages are trips to traditional houses and tombs of Mataram kings on the peak of Imogiri Hill.
Participants can also expect to enjoy the hamlet's traditional cuisine, namely pecel kembang turi (rice with nut-based sauce accompanied by vegetables) and wedang uwuh (traditional Javanese drink).
4. Kampung Batik Trusmi, Cirebon, West Java
Though many recognize Trusmi as a store's name or one of Cirebon's batik brands, Trusmi is actually a village that houses Cirebon's batik artisans.
Situated in Plered district, Cirebon city, visitors can enter this area located behind the huge Batik Trusmi store on the side of Jl. Raya Plered. There you will find dozens of batik centers that make batik fabric, selling it at discounted prices.
The kampung also offers signature Cirebon cuisine, such as tahu gejrot (fried tofu in sweet spicy sauce) and empal gentong (aromatic beef soup).
5. Kampung Batik Putat Jaya, Surabaya, East Java
Previously home to the Dolly red-light district, the place now serves as a popular batik kampung for tourists in Surabaya. It boasts signature motifs of daun (leaf) and buah jarak.
Centers at 8B alley, the area is always packed with visitors, from mothers and students to locals and foreign tourists.
Kampung Batik Putat Jaya also offers a batik-making workshop, discussion and batik production tour.
6. Kampung Batik Palbatu, Jakarta
Situated in Palbatu, Tebet, South Jakarta, this kampung has been operating only since 2011. It holds two Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) records for longest batik street and most batik-painted houses. No wonder many visit to take selfies due to its Instagrammable factor.
Initially established to preserve batik Betawi's motifs, the kampung now hosts studios where residents and tourists can learn batik-making. (kes)