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Arts and Crafts

Batik Wayang Antiques Silver

Arts and Crafts:
Yogyakarta produces Batik products for both the Jakarta and Bali markets and as such you are in essence at the source. Batik is certainly the premiere product on offer. The shops along Jl. Malioboro are numerous and the street vendors line the sidewalks with racks upon racks of beautiful Batik shirts, pants, hats, table settings, coasters etc.

Compared to Jakarta (and even Bali) shopping in Yogyakarta is a bargain before you actually begin to... well, bargain. FYI, it is always a buyers market so do not hesitate to bargain (especially with the sidewalk vendors).

Batik is synonymous with Indonesia and Central Java (Yogyakarta and Solo in particular) is center of Batik production in Indonesia. A brief overview for the uninitiated: Batik is the process of applying wax to cloth (cotton or silk) and then dying the cloth. Once dyed, the wax is removed by soaking in hot water and the pattern where the wax once was is then visible. This process can be repeated several times depending upon the intricacy of the design and colours. (FYI, there are many different styles of Batik and Batik from Yogya is generally more traditional in colour and design, while Batik from Solo is more colourful).

In days gone by the process of applying wax was done either with a metal stamp (Batik Cap) or by hand (Batik Tulis) with a tool resembling a smokers pipe. Nowadays this process is mainly done for promotional purposes at Batik shops and factories. For the most part Batik is now manufactured by large factories using automated equipment (that however does not make it any less beautiful - in fact with automation the number and intricacy of designs and colours as well as products available is greater than ever).

Mirota Batik on Jl A. Yani (an extension of Jl. Malioboro) is recommended as an excellent one stop shopping venue. It has an outstanding variety of products at very good prices and is conveniently located. Mirota features a large selection of souvenir items, Topeng (masks), Wayang Golek or Wayang Kulit, (see the following) knick knacks and so on. Of course its specialty is Batik in all the many patterns and forms. There are shirts, sarongs, place mats, tablecloths, coasters, dresses, etc. Clothing comes in men’s, women’s, children’s and even infant sizes. You can even pick out a favorite Batik pattern, be measured and have a shirt or dress or jacket made to order - usually within 2 days.

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Wayang Golek (wooden puppets) and Wayang Kulit (puppets made from processed cow hide) are to be found in abundance in Yogyakarta. These make unique, memorable, colourful and easily transportable souvenirs. Many are mass produced for the tourist trade. However, older puppets (20 to 50 years old) can be found in some of the antique shops.

Whilst there are some genuine antiques to be had, far more common are replicas or “aged products” which are actually new products made to look old. If you are seeking the “genuine antiques” you should come prepared with the ability to distinguish real from fake and a fair amount of cash. The two streets which contain most of the antique shops are: Jl. Tirtodipuran and Jl. Prawirotaman.

A mere 7 km. off Jl. Malioboro is Kota Gede also known as Silver City. This suburb was once the capital of the Mataram Islam Empire however there is nothing there today that gives any hint of its former glory. The majority of the silver factory shops are located on Jl. Kemasan.

Impressive billboards encourage you to view their production area with artisans and craftsmen working their magic with silver. You may even get a free professional polish for your personal jewelry! Most of the shops are open from 8 AM to 8 PM and all sell similar products (earrings, necklaces, bracelets, knick knacks of filigree silver etc.). Prices can vary considerably from shop to shop. Despite the common practice of giving “special discounts” and you are encouraged to bargain.

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YogyakartaHotels.com - arts and crafts
Shopping Guide

Jl. Malioboro (named after the Duke of Malioboro) is the main shopping thoroughfare in Yogyakarta. With the train station at one end and the Kraton at the opposite end all shopping and city sightseeing tours use this street as a reference point.

Most Yogyakarta shops and shopping malls are open daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Yogya. This is not necessarily bad (see using credit card on the travel tips page. Click here )

Whilst, we generally don't give reommendations the shops below are good places to start (or end) your shopping. You'll get a good idea of the going rates from these 2 shops. (Be advised that we have absolutely no connection and receive no renumeration in return for recommending them).

For Batik: Mirota Batik
Jl. A. Yani 9 Yogyakarta
Telp. 588-524

For Silver: HS Silver
Jl. Mondorakan 1 KotaGede Telp. 375-107

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