In the period of the Jambi Malay Kingdom, the Port of Jambi functioned as a transit port for sailors and merchants, as well as the trading center for goods from all over the archipelago with those from India, China, Persia, Arabia, and other countries . The meetings between traders do not only bring economical impacts for Jambi, but also encourage the processes of cultural assimilation and acculturation. Local cultures interacted with the cultures of India, China, Persia, Arabia, Europe, and cultures from other kingdoms in the Archipelago, thus forming the customs of Jambi society as it is known today, including the field of handmade cloths.
As is also batik from other regions in Indonesia, Jambi batik has two beauties, namely the visual beauty which can be seen from the combination of the decorative patterns, compositions and colors, as well as spiritual beauty contained in the philosophy of the cloth. The decorative patterns of Jambi which are rich in elements of the local cultures, unite harmoniously with touches of other cultures which have lasted for centuries. In addition to decorative patterns which had received outside influence, local artisans also develop decorative patterns according to the environments where they live. In general, the decorative patterns are stylized traditional ornaments, flora-fauna, and tales or myths of the Melayu Jambi Kingdom.
According to Jambi cultural observer, Ja’far Rassuh, the decorative patterns of Jambi batik as a whole is a representative of the nature and characters of Jambi community, which is simple, egalitarian, and open to things from the outside, although prudent in responding to changes.
The name of a Jambi decorative pattern is usually taken from the most dominant decorative pattern on the batik piece or the repetition of a large of a large pattern which has been the main focus, while the addition of small size lines or dots that fill the empty spaces on the main decorative pattern is called the supporting decorative pattern. Along with the increasing market demands, many fabric innovations are created with various decorative patterns, with no single dominant decorative pattern, the composition tends to highlight the aspect of beauty. Such decorative pattern is usually named after the creator. Several batik decorative patterns unique to Jambi that can be inventoried are, among others: