No visit to Yogyakarta is complete without some batik shopping. This exquisite fabric has been part of traditional communities for centuries, as well as hip fashion runways in modern days. From wholesale stores to exclusive workshops, discover the best places to buy traditional batik in Yogyakarta.
Located at the heart of Yogyakarta, this traditional market is almost as old as the city. It’s been the center of trade since 1758 and continues to be one today. Only now, the market has assumed new roles as a historical landmark, tourism icon, and, as it’s now most commonly known, an excellent destination to shop for batik. The traditional fabric is ubiquitous across the market in different patterns and forms sold by hundreds of vendors. Most prices are negotiable, and some people found it helps if you go out on a limb and try some Javanese phrases like “Niki pinten?” (how much is this) or Saged kirang? (can I buy it for less). Even if you’re not looking for a slash in price, try to say it anyway — it’s fun, and shows respect.
Beyond batik, this store is a one-stop destination to shop for souvenirs in Yogyakarta. The store does dedicate one whole level for batik in all its forms — fabric, men’s clothes, women’s clothes, kids, even accessories. As you’re in a modern shop, you won’t get to experience the thrill of bargaining here. But the prices are already pretty cheap, starting from $2 for a simple apparel. Going further up to the second and third level, more traditional handicrafts and souvenirs await, from home décor to musical instruments.
If you care to go deeper than the pretty patterns, batik actually holds a profound philosophy and symbols. This batik workshop intends to carry on batik-making as a deep-rooted tradition of the Javanese, in all its authentic process. Here, you can find collector-grade batik, each fabric created through ancient-old procedures that made batik special in the first place. If you’re feeling crafty, sign up for their batik-making class and learn the secrets to this intricate cultural object yourself.
The boutique-style store makes this batik shop alluring for those who like to shop with style and convenience. Loved by Indonesian fashion bloggers and influencers, Rianty’s collection gives the centuries-old batik tradition a contemporary spin that entices even young generations. The stylish fashion design is put into shirts, skirts, dresses, and various trinkets.
Buying your whole family a matching batik shirt, or simply need a dozen more lovely batik dresses for yourself? Yudhistira is the place to go. You can buy batik in large numbers and get special discounts. Don’t expect avant-garde design or superb quality, but you can find decent products in every style and size here. This shop also sells batik specialty from different localities outside Yogyakarta, such as Pekalongan and Cirebon.
Mind you, this is not the store’s name or even a market. Ngasem is a whole village of batik makers and sellers. That amounts to a myriad of options to choose from — patterns, colours, designs, and styles. Simply explore the area from one home to another, as most of the families living here make and sell batik for a living. You can also hang around in one of the workshops and observe how the traditional fabric was made.