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Salem Brebes (Brebesan)

Batik Salem Brebes or commonly known as Batik Salem or Batik Brebesan have been around for hundreds of years. Batik Salem originates from the story of a daughter of a government officer from Pekalongan who came to Salem, West of Brebes. She fell in love with a local boy. The two got married and settled in the village of Bentar, Salem. Her presence brought a new vibrant color to the inception of Batik in Bentar village and spread across other villages, Bentarsari and Ciputih.

Currently, there are over 200 Batik craftswomen in Salem producing Batik in a home industry scale. These craftswomen indulge themselves in Batik only as an activity to fill their spare time after they finish their work in field crops or at home. In the meantime Batik Brebes is still a home industry.

The characteristics of Batik Brebes has a strong influence of the famous Batik Pekalongan in its pattern of batik buketan (flower arrangement pattern), and from Batik Tegalan and Banyumasan in its coloring. Batik Salem also has influence from Batik Yogyakarta and Surakarta in its coloring, motives, and patterns. Its primary motives consists of “Kopi Pecah” (broken off coffee) and “Gringsing” (symbol of a life balance, and also symbol of prosperity).

The innovation and creative team of the IKKON BEKRAF had an extensive exploration on local potentials of Salem for almost 4 months in 2016. They created new design collections that suit the characteristics of the people of Salem. One of the most recent design collections was called Batik Salam Salem, derived from the local wisdom: ducks, salted egg, and other main commodity of Brebes, the shallots.