The most famous souvenir of Cirebon is Batik Trusmi. Trusmi, a village 5kms from the city is the centre of local batik production. There are more than 1000 workers or craftsmen batik. Batik workers come from several areas around the Trusmi village, such as from the Gamel village, Kaliwulu, Wotgali and Kalitengah.Batik is a traditional colorful piece of textile paint with natural motif. In traditional Javanese culture batik is an art full of life philosophy.
Trusmi Batik Cirebon has unique colors and techniques that are difficult to imitate by other regions, because the coloring is not only using the batik technique is quite complicated but the PH levels of water determines the success of a batik coloring process. This means that even if Garut mastering in batik Trusmi staining technique, but if done in Garut, the color will not be like the color of batik Trusmi. This is the uniqueness of batik Trusmi, besides having a good design, Cirebon batik is also supported by the staining technique and the water PH that is different from other regions.
Staining technique of batik is not as easy as painting on canvas. The color on a canvas can easily be controlled. The desired color can be easily generated and if the colors are not appropriate for example is too old or too young, it can easily be replaced. On the other hand, staining process on batik has a certain technique to produce a specific color. Beside, sense of color should be strong because batik color is produced by chemicals mixing that are aimed by processing water with a certain temperature, or batik boiling (pengelorodan) and soaking batik by sunlight.
Trusmi Batik Cirebon recognized by two types of color that comes from the manufacturers, the German-made color (named it, sol formula) and artificial colors or famous Japanese with Jawo formula and napthol. Both these colors are using a mixture of water as the diluents.
Staining generally divided into five Batik Trusmi Cirebon, batik Sogan, batik Biron, batik Bangbiru, batik Babarmas, and batik Tigo Negerian. The resulting color batik Sogan is beige and white with shades of black and brown isen-isen (filler). Biron blue color is taken from the main color of this batik. The simplest staining techniques Biron compared with other techniques because it only uses one-time process pelorodan and produce a single color.
In general, Cirebon batik includes into the coastal batik groups, however some are belong to the palace batik groups. This is because Cirebon has two palaces; those are Keratonan Kasepuhan and Keraton Kanoman. Based on the history, from these two palaces appears several Cirebonan classical batik designs, which are until now done by some rural Trusmi communities such as motif of Mega Mendung, Paksinaga Liman, Patran Keris , Patran Kangkung, Singa Payung, Singa Barong, Banjar Balong, Ayam Alas, Sawat Penganten, Katewono, Gunung Giwur, Simbar Menjangan, Simbar Kendo and others.
Some important things that can become a feature or characteristic that is also owned by batik Cirebon is as follows:
- Cirebonan Design nuanced traditional classical, in general, always involves wadasan motif (rock) on parts of a particular motive. In addition there is also a cloud-shaped decorative element (mega) on the parts that are adjusted with its main motif.
- Traditional batik Cirebonan has always been characterized by the color of the background (base fabric) that is younger than the color line on main motive.
- Background or base fabric is usually clean from black stains or colors that are not desired in the manufacturing process.
- Cirebonan batik motifs use of single lines and thin (small), approximately 0.5 mm with an older line of color compared with the background color. Because of the process of batik Cirebon is more superior in closing (blocking area), by using a special canting to make the process more dense.
- Dominant color traditional Cirebonan batik usually have a yellow color (Sogan pads), the basic colors of black and beige, or dark red, navy blue, basic black with a cream color or ivory fabric.
- Cirebonan Batik tends to choose some of the background fabric without filled with decorative shaped tanahan or rentesan (ganggeng plant-shaped ornament). Decorative shapes or rentesan tanahan is usually used by batiks from Pekalongan.
- Coastal batik strongly influenced by the character of the coastal communities which is generally have a soul open and receptive to foreign cultural influences. Developments at the present time, batik cirebonan is more colorful and uses lighter and brighter colors, and has various decorative shapes that combines elements of animals and other forms of visual diverse flora.
In a region with many foreigners around coastal usually transiting, anchored to happen different ethnic marriages (assimilation), the coastal batik Cirebonan more likely to receive from outside cultural influenced by immigrants. Hence, Cirebon batik is easier to meet or follow consumer tastes from various regions (more to the fulfillment of commodity trade and commercialism), and making the colors more attractive coastal batik Cirebonan using many colors. Cirebonan batik production at present consists of Batik Tulis, Batik Cap Cap and printed batiks.