The Batik Road - Combining Pasisir and Central Javanese Colours & Motifs

Batik tiga negeri - Skirt cloth kain panjang
Cirebon , c. 1920 - 106.0  x 258.0 cm

Batik tiga negeri refers to batik cloth that combines the filler motifs and colour styles of three different batik making regions.  The production centers included one of the Principalities, usually Solo for its rich soga brown, and the other two from the Pasisir.  Depending on the region in which the soga is made, it may occur in various shades.

Tiga negeri cloth was an outcome of changes in fashion tastes post the 1870s and continued on into the twentieth century.  These trends dictated a preference for extremely intricate designs.  They were very expensive cloths that also epitomised the Javanese desire for perfection by ensuring each cloth utilised only the best qualities from each region.  By combining the motifs from the Pasisir and central Java, the wearer was highlighting connections with groups in both regions.  Later on these beautiful batiks became a display of the wearer's affluence.

I also believe that the development of tiga negeri cloths, is another example of batik being a living tradition where existing motifs continue to be modified and new motifs evolve, all of which add to its rich vocabulary.  

This exquisite work is made up of four floral bouquets and rather then being arranged on a plain background, they are integrated into the background.  This buketan style is considered to be typical of batik Pasisir, and was the fashion for Europeans and Indo-Europeans.  The buketan style also soon became the choice of Peranakan Chinese wanting their social position to be seen as being equal to the Dutch.  Their cloths as seen above, were very elaborate and the bouquets were difficult to distinguish from the background.  The background is made up of slanting bands or dlorong containing a number of filler motifs.  The colour combinations are very complex.  





  1. The features of the fabric demonstrate the author's desire to perfect his work. The using different motifs and colors shows the whole complexity of the process.

  2. Thanks a lot for sharing. I am looking forward to seeing a new one. Regards.


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