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Thread: How do you choose a batik?

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    When you select a batik fabric, what do you look for? Is it the color, or the visual texture? If it's the color... do you prefer batiks with just one color family in them, or a bolder combination?

    Do you choose one brand name only? Or are all makers equally good?

    We don't carry batiks right now, but I've been thinking about adding them. However... I really don't know what to be looking for. Personally, I get stuck just on the color impact of batiks. And that's bad, in terms of choosing for "everybody else", because there are certain colors that I love, and others that I'll almost always pass over. I'm drawn to smoky colors that defy being named, and cool tones of earth and sky and sea. Which leaves out a whole lot of the color wheel, including most brights!

    Advice, please? Suggestions on what makes a great batik stand out from the pack? (There are so many of them out there.)

  2. #2
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    I guess I'm the person who balances out your likes.. I love the bright batiks.
    The color and design or lack of it catches my eye first.. then I have to feel it.
    I'm not crazy for stiff fabrics and will sometimes pass over a fabric that I love the color/pattern because it doesn't touch well. Also I hand piece primarily and if it's very stiff it usually won't needle well.

  3. #3
    farscapegal
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    I love all batiks. I buy them more often than anything else. If a quilt store doesn't carry them I usually won't go back. I am fortunate that the two stores I shop in the most have lots of batiks to choose from.

    I buy them the way I would any other fabric. It depends on the quilt I am making and what I want it to look like.

    Sybil

  4. #4
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Batics of all colors are a staple of my stash and I buy them whenever I find them on sale.
    You can use all colors for a quilt and it will be beautiful.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have been collecting batiks for a number of years, however I do not care for the type with the "stamped designs" on them... any and all of the rest find a way into my stash!!! Bold to muted...I love them all :D :D :D

  6. #6
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    I love Batiks ! my local shop carries mainly Mariah (sp) .They are so nice to work with. I would carry a darks and brights . I think it a must to have some batiks in a shop . have fun ordering.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Batiks are my favorite! :)

    For me it's all about color, lots of color. Texture also plays a part. There are certain brands that I know are good: Island Batik and Hoffman are probably my favorites.

    I primarily get batiks which may have colors but which "read" as being one color. I prefer batiks that also have texture (pattern), but I don't care for the big Chop patterns with high contrast. The watercolors also have their place. I usually buy without a particular plan for what I'm going to do. If I see a GREAT one I buy it on the spot because it seems no two bolts are ever same, once it's gone, it's gone!

    This stash drawer nearly all batiks.
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  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I buy boat loads of batiks and love everything about the stuff!! My local shops carry lots and lots of it so I have never purchased batiks online. The color is so very important that I think I would probably always want to see it in person before buying. I usually unwind the bolt a couple flips to get a fuller view of the variations in color, pattern, etc. Unlike printed cottons, batiks will always vary by bolt so what you buy online may look very different from the same line you saw in person. That is their beauty, for me, the uniqueness of each piece.

    As for choices of colors, it depends on my mood at the time of purchase (I buy for stash, not project). I love the brights and lights and now they are even making some that are reminiscent of colonial colors. Yum! I also like the earth tones, deep colors, all colors I guess. What I don't like, and this is just me personally, is the muddy looking colors, not muted, but muddy and I tend to stay away from bolts with non-analogous colors on them.

    Something to consider would be having a difference in value, color wise. For example, I have a lot of red batiks, but they are all the same value. It limits what I can do with them together. It's as if batiks have to blend horizontally (across the color wheel) instead of vertically (by depth of value of the same color). See what I mean? Try to add some depth as well as width to the selection you offer, no matter what colors you select.

    My local shops each carry different styles, to reflect the owner's tastes I suppose. They have not tried to cover all bases, and are doing very well with that philosophy. It means I go to one for reds, blues, purples and greens, and the other for yellows, oranges, creams, and browns. Everyone benefits!!

  9. #9
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    I buy them whenever I find them on sale.
    What's a good price to pay for a batik? As in, what's a good sale price, and what's a fair regular price?

    They are more expensive than most printed fabrics; for instance, the wholesale price for new Moda batiks is $4.75 / yard; Hoffmans are maybe a dime less.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    Probably depends on the geography/region. In the Pacific Northwest batiks at LQS run $9.99 - $11.99/yard apx. Pretty much the same price as other quilting cottons in those shops.

    The internet...well anything goes as far as price.

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