The word pasisir means on the coast, but in batik term, pasisiran indicates to the regional along the north coast of Java.
Based on the origin regional of batik, mainly two have been recognized as the most distinctive batik:
- Batik Kraton or Royal Batik – which is associated with the royal courts in Yogyakarta and Surakarta.
- Batik Pasisiran or North Coast of Batik – which is associated with vibrant colours, free and dynamic patterns and also have the strong influences from China, Europe and Arab.
For centuries, the seaports along the north coast of Java have been trading centers for a wide variety goods, including Indian textiles, which were mainly traded for spices. There was also lively trade with China. Since the Middle Ages, enclaves of Arabs, Indians and Chinese have settled in these ports.
North Coast of Java where batik are produced in Indramayu, Cirebon, Tegal, Pekalongan, Semarang, Demak, Jepara, Kudus, Pati, Lasem, Rembang, Tuban, Pacitan, Gresik, Sidoarjo, Pasuruan and Madura. Regional of Cirebon and Gresik, they had their own royal courts.
Originally, batik pasisiran were based on Indian export textiles in terms of palette, design and layout. Kain panjang (long cloth or hip cloth) or sarung (sarong) typically have a tumpal (a row of pointed triangles at each end and a narrow encompassing border). The pattern of buketan (flower bouquet), lokcan, shrubs in bloom, floral vines and sea creatures are also typical of Batik Pasisiran. **
(Source: Batik Rudolf G. Smend Collection)