Batik Tegal came from the King Amangkurat I (Sunan Amangkurat Mas) from Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta who explored through the northern coast of Java along with his followers who amongst them are batik craftsmen. These craftsmen taught their craft to their descendants and have spread to Tegal people. The motives still have strong palace influences with the dominant color of green and brown.
In 1908, Batik Tegal was also introduced by RA Kardinah, the wife of the mayor of Tegal RM Adipati Ario Reksonegoro. RA Kardinah was a sister of RA Kartini and she established a school for the local girls known as “Wisma Pranawa” or “Sekolah Kepandaian Putri”. One of its school subjects was Batik crafts.
The characteristic of Batik Tegalan is dominated by its color, brown and blue, and also multicolor. The patterns are inspired by various flora and fauna around the city of Tegal. The patterns are for example “Gedong Kosong”, “Manuk Emprit”, “Kipas-Kipasan”, etc.
Currently, the production of Batik Tegalan is on edge state. The hand-inked batik women seem difficult to find lately and even harder to having a new generation of craftswomen. The threat of extinction is on the verge for this special Batik, as the craftswomen often forget to make a documentation on her batik.