It is an endless task to discuss about various clothing in Indonesia. It is mainly due to variety that is really difficult to be classified and collected. Until now, the clothing is mostly based on particular region in Indonesia. To be more specific, each tribe in the region also contributes to development of particular clothing model. It is also applicable to besurek clothing. This traditional clothing comes from Bengkulu, a province in western Sumatra. It is located just north from Lampung. Basically besurek has same characteristic to batik. Therefore, the way it is created is similar. In addition, the motif is also comparable to standard batik. However, there are also some noticeable differences.
Before moving further, it is better to know that commonly besurek is designed to meet Arabic calligraphy design. Islamic characteristic brought to this clothing is accomplished with the presence of raffles flower. Besurek got its name from Malay meaning to correspondence or writing. As its motifs are similar to calligraphy, this batik was supposed to be introduced by Arabic traders. However, Indians contributed to development of besurek design as well. The combination and development of besurek clothing in Bengkulu was recorded and obvious in late 1990s. Some motifs are recognized as characteristic of besurek designs.
Some designs of besurek are based on real object. The most obvious one is raffles flower. People definitely do not like this flower because of its smell. Apart from that, the clothing with this flower as image is loved by many people. Not only does it because of the artistic value embedded in the clothing, but it is also because of symbolic value within this flower. It is important to note that it is not the only model besurek clothing is designed. There are other models, and the most noticeable one.
Based on Islamic calligraphy, it is possible to find Arabic beautiful writing over the fabric. The words, however, do not refer to God or Prophets in Islam simply because it is highly risky. Therefore, the calligraphic images represent other reference. This model comes in various colors that can be selected. Typically, the tone is dark to moderate bright. In addition, the color variation is not significant. Two alternate colors are the most common and it is rare to find color combination exceeding three. Besurek clothing also comes in other enchantment and reference such as birds, moon, and small pine.