Solo, spirit of Java is one of the most famous batik central in Indonesia. Solo batik is well known throughout Indonesia and became the best export commodity. It has unique and specific traditional batik pattern in the process of “batik cap and batik tulis”. The staining process used a lot of domestic materials, such as Java soga which is already famed since a long time ago.
There are two famous batik village in Solo, which is Laweyan batik village and Kauman batik village. Both of them are design as a cultural village. The first difference between Laweyan and Kauman is the batik pattern.
Laweyan batik village has hundred of batik pattern and its known to used bright colour, at the same time Kauman batik village has modern pattern and used dark colour such as dark brown. The second difference is the access, almost all public transportation passes Kampung Batik Kauman, because it located in downtown.
However, if you want to get around to Kauman batik village you better walk, ride becak, or a bike. If you use the car, it will be difficult because this village has a lot of narrow alleys. Unlike the Laweyan batik village with the wide access roads. But for some people, it is an extraordinary experience because they can feel the atmosphere of batik village that existed hundreds of years ago.
Kauman village located in a very strategic place, surrounded by Coyudan or Rajiman street, Nonongan street, Slamet Riyadi, Klewer market, Beteng and Gladak. The access is very easy to reach it and there are a lot of cicerone to guide you, so you will not get lost.
If you are still confused, you can ask the local people. It takes only five minutes to get there from Gladak. However, if you decide to go there by using public transportation, you can use any of these buses (Damri A, B, Sumber Rahayu, Surya Kencana E, Nusa A and Solo Batik Trans) and get off at Gladak.
Arrived in Kauman, you will see a kind of gate with “Kauman : Kauman Wisata Batik” sign and the narrow alleys. The houses are sealed closely and have a high wall. It still keep the original shape and owned by the Batik skipper.
Furthermore, there are some houses that have been change the function to a boutique or store that shows the batic fabric with the batik products. And if you notice, there are a lot of cicerone, it was made so that new visitors do not get lost.
The visitor can enjoy the atmosphere of Solo in the past that is represented by the ancient buildings which are on either side of the alley. The architecture is a combination between Java architecture and Colonial architecture, it is a modern shopping centre surrounded by Joglo house, a historical building.
The history of Kauman village begin with the movement of Kartosura palace to Solo, which change its name become Kasunanan Surakarta Hadiningrat palace. At that moment, Kauman was a place for Islamic religious officers and it’s consists of several level of social society, start from anom, dime, muezzin, and the regent or suronoto.
The name of Kauman came from “kaum” (courtiers) as the majority population of this village. These people got special lesson from Kasunanan to produce batik like jarik (fabric), scarves and others.
In other words, the kauman batik tradition is a direct heritage from Kasunanan Surakarta Hadiningrat palace. Based on that experience, Kauman can produce the batik pattern that used by the royal family. Moreover, the batik industry succeeded in raising the economic standard of Kauman people.
During the expansion of this batik art, Kauman batik can be divided into three forms. The first form is classical grip motif, the local people called it as batik tulis, influenced by the art of Kasunanan batik this form is a superior product of Kauman village.
The second form is stamp batik (batik cap) and the third form is a combination model between batik tulis and batik cap. The products of Kauman village are made from natural silk, silk weaving, cotton, primed and rayon.
This batik village has twenty to thirty batik home industries and it has a loyal customer that exist for generations. It has not only the local customer from Indonesia but also customer from many foreign countries, such as Japan, Europe, several countries in Southeast Asia and the united state.
In fact, it has become a place to subscribe for collectors batik around the world. If you want to buy the batik fabrics that are shown in a showroom, you should not be surprised by the price. For middle level, the prices can certainly make a shock because it can reach $8 to more than $100 for the superior type of Batik.
This village offering easy transaction, there are banks and money changer, while you can also take a look around of the batik process at the home venue. You have the chance to learn the process of making batik and practice it on your own. There are a lot of home stays and hotels around the village. Kauman village clearly provide special conveniences for tourists needs.
There are several galleries that sell batik products in Hasyim Asyari street, Trisula street, and Wijaya Kusuma street. You will find some showrooms like Batik Noer, Batik Dakon Mas, Bagik Pratama, Batik Gunawan Setiawan, Tisik Batik Halus Kartika, Batik Sekar Melati, Bati Kaoeman, Rumah Mode Batik Sabrina and Batik Qisti Mas’adi. Happy shopping!