Batik Indonesia hunting in Trusmi, Cirebon’s batik empire.While it may not be as globally renowned as its counterparts from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, the batik designs of Cirebon in West Java has its own unique charm.
One thing for sure: the city is a must-visit destination for all batik lovers out there.
Usually categorized as batik pesisiran (coastal batik), due to the city’s geographic location, Cirebon batik is sometimes also called Trusmi batik, after the city’s largest batik industry.
“Pusat Grosir Batik Trusmi” is indeed one of the most well-known batik brand in Indonesia. It is located in Plered subdistrict, some four kilometers away to the west of downtown Cirebon.
A huge billboard with the word “Trusmi” can be clearly seen if you arrive in Cirebon through the Palimanan-Kanci toll road.
Right from the moment you set your foot into the Trusmi area, you will see that it is a perfect place for a batik hunting and shopping spree. There are virtually batik stores upon batik stores lining up on both sides of Trusmi’s main road, Jl. Trusmi Kulon.
Some of the most popular stores include “Batik Trusmi Pusat Grosir” and “Batik Batik IBR or Raja Batik”.
In these comfortable shops, you can lose yourself for hours in the wonderful land of batik shirts, dresses, fabrics, and accesories.
Like many other batik-producing cities in Java, Cirebon has its own unique batik design, which is called the mega mendung motif.
The motif looks like rain clouds and is usually painted in striking colors. It is heavily influenced by Chinese cultures, brought into the city by Chinese traders centuries ago.
The mega mendung batik fabrics are still worn by members of the Cirebon royal family until today.
Mega mendung is just one of the more than 300 batik motifs Cirebon has nowadays. Other Cirebon batik motifs include the piring selampat, the kapal kandas, and the bunga terompet (allamanda).
The batik sellers of Trusmi sell their batik fabric in varying prices, depending on the fabrics’ quality and how detailed the motifs are. A good quality batik fabric is sold at Rp 35,000 (US$3.5) while Rp 10,000 (US$1) will get you a key chain.
Walk along Jl. Buyut Trusmi, situated behind Jl. Trusmi Kulon, to see more stores and some houses where the local batik craftsmen are painting the batik fabrics.
In these houses, you can also buy batik fabrics and learn batik indonesia painting directly from the masters.
batik indonesia artist Katura A.R. is one of these masters who has opened his house for travelers curious about the batik art.
In his home, you can see craftsmen busy creating the batik fabrics, from sketching the patters, cutting the fabrics, drawing and coloring the designs, to cleaning and air-drying the final products.
The whole process usually takes two months. However, according to Katura, the process can be significantly shortened to only two hours by using a small handkerchief for travelers who wish to create their own batik fabric.
Any travelers wishing to do this will have to make an appointment at least one month before his or her visit to Katura’s house.
“Some foreign travelers have actually opted to stay here for months to really learn about the whole batik-creating process,” Katura said, adding that said travelers came from India, Japan, England, and Brazil batik indonesia.
Pusat Grosir Batik Trusmi
Jl. Trusmi Kulon 148, Plered, Cirebon, West Java.