Yogyakarta’s Unique Handicrafts

When you visit Yogyakarta, besides enjoying the natural, cultural or culinary attractions of Yogyakarta, you can buy Yogyakarta’s unique handicrafts such as:


Batik is a unique form of art, a combination of artistic expression and technical skill which can be only found in Indonesia. Using beeswax paraffin and multicolor dyeing, batik is done on pieces of clothing.  Among the other claims of fame, Yogyakarta is also famous as “Batik City”

Yogyakarta's Unique Handicrafts
Batik Kawung | Photo via imagenesmi.com

Based on the technique used, batik falls into three categories: hand-waxed, hand stamp, and the combination of the two. Hand waxing is done with a tool called “Canting’ which is made of brass or copper. For the hand stamp batik, a copper stamp with various motives is used, while combination batik is the result of combining the “canting” and the stamp technique. The quality of batik is determined by the intricacy of the motif, the technique used and the kind of the basic clothes. Originally, both the color and the motive were very much influenced by the surrounding nature and belief system such as plants, especially flowers like the jasmine, animals like the mythological Garuda bird and divinely inspired creation motifs. The dominant color is blue or black symbolizing water and air. These fours colors stand for two basic elements, This symbolic background produces special batik design in Yogyakarta and
Surakarta areas with black and blue as the dominant colors in traditional batik.


Yogyakarta's Unique Handicrafts
Painting Art at Malioboro

The art of painting on a piece of canvas was firstly following traditional patterns inspired by wayang stories of wayang beber. In Indonesia, the modern painting was pioneered by Raden Saleh (1816- 1880). A collection of some of his paintings is permanently displayed in the Sultan’s Palace. Yogyakarta has a large number of Indonesian’s most famous artists. Some of them are Affandi, Amri Fahya, and Sapto Hudoyo. Numerous galleries and Studios can be found in Yogyakarta.


Silver handicraft started to flourish at the reign of Sultan Agung when there was much demand for silver and gold items at the Sultan’s Palace.
Two kinds of silver craft are produced: white and black silver. Black silver is called tarnished or oxidized silver.
Originally burned silver was a distinctive feature of Kotagede Kotagede is located about six kilometers from the city center. The small town is famous as the silver town, beside the royal cemetery of Panembahan Senopati site.

Yogyakarta's Unique Handicrafts

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For leather craft industry in the Yogyakarta area, the hide of water buffaloes, cows or goats is used. The finished product can be in the form of puppets also famous as ” Wayang Kulit’, room decorations bags, sandals, or any other souvenir items. These products are very atracüve due to the diligence and the craftsmanship of the artists.
The leather items can be easily found in stores or on the sidewalk of Jalan Malioboro, Beringharjo Market, Jalan Kauman, Jalan Pasar Kembang, or in the villages of Manding, Gendeng or Pucung, Bantul Regency.

Yogyakarta's Unique Handicrafts
Leather craft Yogyakarta

Earthenware and ceramic are both made of clay. The famous village for this handicraft is Kasongan. Besides farming, the villagers of Kasongan earn their living by making pottery. Kasongan is about 7 kilometres from Yogyakarta, Bantul Regency. The Village can be reached by public transportation to Bantul, and take a walk about one kilometer to the west after getting off at Niten village. Kasongan products such as decorations, and kitchen utensils in various sizes which are very famous in Indonesia


Yogyakarta is buyers paradise for artwork, for there are many artists coming from this city. These famous artists influence the local artisans in silver, leather, batik, and other craft.
Even from Wood, rattan, and bamboo, very attractive craft items can be made, not only used as interior home decorations, but also for international hotel decoration. Furniture for the living room, dining room sets, bedroom sets, or room dividers are beautifully made in Yogyakarta.
Lampshades, fruit baskets, and decorative shopping bags are made in many different shapes and sizes. One can find these items in several shops along Malioboro street

Yogyakarta's Unique Handicrafts


The shell of turtles and even the horn of water buffalo’s or cows are good material for making handicraft. “Lestari Mulyo” workshop in Kotagede produces these handicrafts. The articles such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, hair pins, combs, serving spoons, fans or ashtrays are done in a traditional way. Besides, in Kotagede, the articles can also be found on the sidewalk of Jalan Malioboro or at the craft center at Jalan Adisucipto.

Yogyakarta's Unique Handicrafts

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