Batik Semarang can be categorised with the batik pesisir. ‘Pesisir’ derives from the Javanese word for ‘coastal area’. In times of the kingdoms of Majapahit and Mataram the word ‘pesisir’ was used to indicate the North coast of Java (Yuliani 2009:34). ‘Pesisir’ also stands for a special and an unique cultural character. This character differs with the cultural character of the rural areas of Java. These differences may be explained as followed.
The coastal area of Northern Java was in direct contact with the immigrants from other islands because of the established trade routes. Thus, these coastal communities were more in contact with other nations and other tribes. Through these process and times these relations would form the character of the coastal communities. This character was very open and liberal. Besides this geographical aspect, the coastal area was also far away from the area of control from the mainland. Thus, these coastal communities were not tied to the cultural impositions and political kingdoms in the mainland of Java. This cultural character of the coastal area is reflected in the decorations, the motives, and the use of colours in the batik made by the coastal communities (Yuliati 2009:34-35).
Reference: Yuliati, Dewi, 2009, Mengungkap Sejarah dan Pesona Motif: Batik Semarang. Semarang: Badan Penerbit Universitas Diponegoro Press.