COURTESY T. LEE – TAASA Review March 2013


This article was originally found in the March 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 1, Page 16).

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blue or indigo and a somber brown known as soga.

With the original crème hue of the cloth, this led to the threesome of crème, indigo and brown: colours so distinctive of Central Javanese batik.

Originally these colours were derived organically from the leaves of the indigo plant (blue) and tree bark (brown); chemical colours are widely used today. It was in the kratons of Surakarta and Yogyakarta that the eight renowned Larangan or forbidden motifs were designed and produced exclusively for court use, in particular after decrees announced in 1769, 1789 and 1790 (Fraser Lu 1986:57)...