BATIK DESIGNS -
The ornamentation on a piece of batik consists of ornaments arranged so as to construct a total composition. Traditionally speaking, there are numerous batik designs. To facilitate recognition, they can be grouped by shape and style.
Ornamentation included in the geometric category generally contains straight lines and constructions - like slanted lines, squares, rectangles, trapeziums, lozenges, parallelograms, circles, and stars - and is repeated endlessly so as to form an integrated design. Geometric design consist of the ceplok or ceplokan and diagonals (lereng and parang).
- Ceplok Designs
A very ancient ceplok member is the kawung (Fig. 1). Other examples are the Ceplok Sriwedari, and Ceplok Keci.
- Parang Designs
The parang design is a very well-known member of the diagonal-design group. It is composed of one or more ornaments arranged in parallel diagonal "lines" at a 45 degree angle from the base. Parallel with these principal diagonals are rows of lozenges. These are known as mlinjon. These is a great variety of parang designs, including the Parang Parung (Fig. 2) and Parang Sekar Pisang.
- Lereng Designs
Lereng designs are fundamentally the same as parang designs. The main difference lies in the absence of the mlinjon ornament in the former. Lereng designs include Krena Slimpet (Fig. 3), Lerenga Catur Karsa, and Patran Kangkung.
Non-geometric designs fall into four categories: semen, lung-lungan, buketan, and pinggiran. Despite its great variety, the non-geometric group is dominated by the semen and lung-lungan. Generally speaking, the semen is very ancient, especially when it includes the garuda, sawat, mirong or lar motifs, which are stylizations of the garuda bird - a mythical bird from the Hindu religion - ornaments that in the past were the prerogative of rulers and their families. This is also true of the lung-lungan, which likewise belongs to the ancient design group.
- Semen Designs
The principal ornament characterizing the semen is the meru, a mountain-shaped composition. The word meru derives from "Mt. Mahameru", the highest point on earth and th eplace where the gods reside, according to Hindu belief. The meru is essentially a symbol of the mountain or the place where plants sprout (Javanese: semi), thus the design is called semen, deriving from the root semi.
The main ornaments in the semen are the garuda - wether sawat, lar, or mirong. Examples of semen designs are the Semen Gurdha (Fig. 4), and Semen Jolen.
- Lung-lungan Designs
Most lung-lungan designs contain the same kind of principal ornaments as the semen group. Distinguishing the two are the incompleteness of the principal ornaments in the lung-lungan and the absence of the meru. Babon Angrem (Fig. 5) and Grageh Waluh are lung-lungan designs.
- Buketan Designs
Buketan designs are easily recognizable for their arrangements of flowers and buds surrounded by butterflies, birds, or small animals. The various elements are presented in formations that construct an hamonious whole. One buketan-patterned cloth generally contains five or six of these attractive ornamental arrangements. Very few court batik designs fall in the buketan group. This is possibly because they are the result of coastal batik influence. Nonetheless, buketan designs are also to be found on inland batik, namely batik pedesaan or "farmer batik" and "merchant batik".
The majority of Dutch batik designs fall in the buketan group. Amongst the most famous of these are those produced by Van Zuylen (Fig. 6). Buketan designs can also be found on farmenr batik.
- Pinggiran Designs
This group of design is termed pinggiran, or border, because it consists of ornaments generally used on the edges of cloths or as dividers between an ornamented field and an empty area, as found on dodot (Fig. 7), kemben, and udheng textiles.