Pekalongan Batik, History and Progress
On the border of North Java, batik is called “batik pesisiran”. Historically, there are three types of batik pekalongan. The first ones, is local batik. It is made by using local style. The pattern doesn’t refer to princes’ rule, but it takes market progress by using the product sold out quickly.
The second one is “batik encim”. It is made in China, and can be defined in 3 categories. The pattern is based on “buketan accessories,” china culture, and various paintings. The third one is “batik londo” made in Holland whose accessories were a Dutch culture
These tree batiks are improved each other and it has their own customer. Among them, it is admitted that local batik is oldest even though it is unknown when and who the batik maker is. Generally it had existed before China and Dutch trader came. The glory period of pekalongan batik occurred around 1850: Elyza Van Zuylen product, Oey Soen King, until by the time of World War II, the product of Mrs. Sastromulyono was also known.
Pekalongan batik that had been produced in 1942-1945 appeared after World War II when Japan occupied Indonesia. Thus, Indonesia trade in cooperation with Dutch was over. So did unbleached plain cloth and dye trade. It led the lack of supply. If any, the price was too expensive. In this period, the batik producer made a new one. It was more sophisticated and made by implementing “Padat Karya system (Work full system). The purpose was to make slower and not lose of employees. Unexpectedly, it brought a great impact. Batik Java Hokokai was known then.
1980- 1997 was a critical situation, then they produced silk batik and batik recovered step by step and the customer increased their demands. In 1999, they applied batik in wholesale. It had an intention to access bigger market and to make closer to the customer as well as create pekalongan become “kota batik or batik city”.