Organic Dye Batik

The Pring Batik Group - Yogyakarta

This is the group of women specialising in batik made from natural organic dyes. These photos show some aspects of their work and the fully handmade character of the product can be clearly seen. Orders placed on Batikbox help support these women.


Silk using plant dyes

These can be produced with(out) tie-die detail in specified fabric lengths (standard is 2 metres). Average production time is 4 weeks per item, depending on the complexity of the pattern and the time required to manufacture the natural dye specifically for your order.

DYE 1 – A rich charcoal black colour. The Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) originates in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas. Tie-die detail : Talok tree-Muntingia calabura.

The Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have originated in the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. The tree grows from 7 to 25 m (20-80 ft) tall. The rind (exocarp) of the edible fruit is deep reddish purple when ripe. Botanically an aril, the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture. The gradual increase in awareness of the mangosteen outside of the Malay Archipelago, its native range, was a long and slow process, as it was an exotic fruit that was perishable and fragile.

DYE 2 - Mango – varied shades of green depending on intensity of dye. Either as one colour or merged colours as in the illustration. Your browser may not support display of this image. Common mango (Mangifera indica L.) originated in Eastern India, Assam to Burma or possibly further in the Malay region. Tree is medium to large (10-40 m in height), evergreen with symmetrical, rounded canopy ranging from low and dense to upright and open.

Bark is usually dark grey-brown to black, rather smooth, The fruit varies greatly in size and character. The smallest kinds are no larger than good-sized plums, while the largest are 4 or 5 pounds in weight. The form is oval, heart-shaped, kidney-shaped, round, or long and slender. Some varieties are delicately colored, deep yellow or apricot with a crimson blush on one cheek; others are green even when ripe. The colour depends to a certain extent on the climate in which the fruit is grown. The aroma is often spicy and alluring, indicative of the flavour of the fruit. The flesh is yellow or orange in color.

DYE 3 - A silvery-black colour. Daun kumis kucing (literally, leaf of  Cat’s  moustache). Orthosiphon spicatus/Orthosiphon aristatus is found throughout Southeast Asia and tropical Australia. The leaves and stem tips are used medicinally. Also called Java Tea, the  leaves have a dry, salty and bitter taste. The plant can grow up to three feet and has blue to light violet flowers.


DYE  4 Lipstick tree. Biji buah sumbo(bixa orellana).   A pink-apricot colour.

Bixa orellana, the lipstick tree, is famous for its natural red colour that is used in foods, called annatto or achiote.

This tropical shrub stands alone in its family; a profusely fruiting shrub, reaching 6 - 20 feet tall and aged up to about 50 years. It has pointed leaves and pink, white - or pinkish - white flowers.   The small reddish-orange seeds, inside a prickly heart-shaped pod, are crushed and used as food colouring. Approximately 50 seeds grow inside of the pod. The red colour is due to apo-carotenoids that are in the seed epidermis. These seeds are processed to obtain the orange-yellow pigments, bixin and norbixin (carotenoids), as dye for the food, cosmetic and soap industries, and the dye is used to colour rice. 

DYE  5Talok tree (Muntingia calabura). A black-grey sheen gives an unusual effect.  Cloth can be produced with(out) tie-dye effect.

A handsome small evergreen tree with a short, broad crown and low branches that hang toward the ground, reaching 3-13 m in height and a trunk diameter of 8.5-20 cm. It has white flowers and reddish berries. USES The sweet berries are edible, they are often eaten fresh but can also be preserved. Wood used as barrel staves, paper pulp, and firewood. Bark fibers are utilized for ropes and baskets. Flowers have medicinal properties. The tree is planted as an ornamental and for shade. Perennial, fast-growing, and short-lived. It often begins to bear within 1.5-2 years from seeding. It withstands dry seasons of 6 months. In its native range the tree occurs scattered in dry to moist thickets and secondary forests along slopes and valleys.

DYE 6Teak leaf ( daun jati).Silvery cream (here with green from Pacar plant). Available striped as pictured or separately. Green –daun Pacar (Lawsonia inermis L.-Henna family).
DYE 7Guava (daun jambu biji) - A golden colour, can be lighter or darker on request. Guavas are plants in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae genus Psidium), which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. Native to Mexico and Central America, guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics.

DYE 8 – A variation colour (compare to Dye 6) Pinkish colour. daun jati -  Teak leaf


DYE 9 - daun sukun
(gold) jackfruit leaf  & daun ketepeng (black)         Cassia alata

DYE 10Guava (Daun jambu biji). A rich silvery-black colour. This can be produced in a variety of shades from this versatile plant. Guavas are plants in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae genus Psidium), which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. Native to Mexico and Central America, guavas are now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics.   


DYE 11Durian in various gold/green shades. The durian tree (Durio zibethius), native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace famously described its flesh as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds". It grows to 100 feet tall and produces heavy, thick-skinned, brownish-green, soccer-ball-size fruits covered with short, sharp spikes (duri is the Malay word for "thorn"). The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles. It has an aphrodisiac reputation- there is a Malay saying that when the durians are down, the sarongs are up!


These patterns are very adaptable and can be reproduced in full or in a specific detail, singly or in a repetitive pattern. Suitable for any clothing item, scarf, dinner linen and household furnishing.  Most can also be dyed in silk.

12: Flower pattern in various shades of blue with detailed border 
13: A bright pattern with flowers and buttterflies 
14: A traditional bird and plant motif, very detailed dot batik 
15: Wayang / Shadow Puppet. Also suitable as a wall hanging. Floral design. Note the detailed dot colours in the batik process
16: A very rich and detailed floral pattern with highlighted motif 
17 A floral pattern in varied shades of blue with highlighted motif 
18 Stylised peacocks watching dragonflies
21 Stylised rooster, birds and bees
22 A pattern in rich traditional colours 
23  A modern pattern in deep red, brown, blue 
23a  A rich red colour with or without flower pattern and marbled background 
24  Bird and flower 
25 A modern pattern in deep yellow/gold, ochre, and blue 

Indigo blue batik

One specialty from Batikbox is traditional silk and cotton batik using natural indigo blue dye. This is a specialty of the village of Imogiri in central Java. The photos show the process from tree, to seed, to paste, waxing and dyeing process. This is a very intensive method which used for batik in varying shades of blue, in silk and cotton. The patterns are usually traditional and contain detailed symbolic motifs. This batik can also be obtained in natural cotton (darker nonwhite fabric background).





Dye paste

Indigo tree


Cloth waxed for dyeing

Silk drying

Indigo Shawls and Scarves



Motif  'Buron toyo'
This shawl is in a traditional pattern. The indigo colour is a mid-blue, and the undyed silk reflects a silvery sheen.  There is a fringe at both ends.


MATERIAL Silk, fully hand dyed
SIZE 1.64metres x 70cm
PROVENANCE Yogyakarta/ Imogiri
Price A$85 + delivery




Motif  'Rujak sinthe'
This scarf is in a traditional pattern. The indigo colour is a mid-blue, and  the undyed silk reflects a silvery sheen. There is a fringe at both ends.

MATERIAL Silk, fully hand dyed
SIZE 1.7metres x 35cm
PROVENANCE Yogyakarta/ Imogiri
Price A$65 + delivery