Pattern inspiration from the century-old technique of Batik

As designers, we are in constant search of new skills, inspirations and ideas. A great way to expand our artistic horizons is by exploring other cultures and their art — in this case, their pattern designs!

In Indonesia, a well-known technique that has been developed for centuries is Batik. Batik is patterned cloth made using a wax-resist dyeing technique. The traditional technique in creating the pattern involves applying melted wax onto cloth before dipping it in dye. The wax holds to the fabric and the dye penetrates the unwaxed areas. For multiple colors, the process is repeated.

We will check out the more traditional Batik patterns, followed by examples of patterns incorporated into designs. Your challenge? For your next project, remember Batik and think about how you can incorporate patterns like it into your work!


Kawung is an old design consisting of intersecting circles. The circles may also be embellished with small crosses.


Ceplok is a general name for a series of all geometric designs, including squares, rhombus, circles, stars, etc. Variations in color intensity can create illusions of depth.

A single element can also be chosen and repeated again and again in the pattern.


Parang was originally used exclusively by the royal courts in Central Java. This pattern consists of slanting rows of thick knife-like segments, repeated diagonally.

Modern Batik

Modern patterns of Batik uses linear treatment of leaves, flowers and birds. Since the patterns are free-form, the design depends on the designer and the guidelines they use.

Inspired by the intricate technique and shapes, designers have applied batik patterns and colors into home furnishings, stationary and many more!

Saipua soaps and flowers

Monggo chocolate – Designed by Jonathan Krisyadi, Universitas Pelita Harapan, Karawaci, Indonesia

Batik Vans Packaging – Designed by Randy Raharja

The designer for this Vans packaging design created a full set including a shopping bag, Batik scarf, Batik shoes and packaging. Although this design does not use any of the common patterns, the packaging theme was inspired by Batik.

Pattern inspiration from 99designs

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Want more inspiration on patterns? Get started with 35 Useful Photoshop Patterns.

Have you tried your hand at the Batik style yet? Share your designs in the comments!

Featured image: oh sk (via Flickr)

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