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Thread: Using Batiks for Hawaiian Applique'

  1. #1
    Senior Member hulahoop1's Avatar
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    The first time I tried to do a Hawaiian Applique' project, I used batiks and it was just awful. I could not easily manipulate the fabric for needleturn stitching the way I could using 100% cottons. Yesterday, I received an email newsletter from Pacific Rim Quilting Company where one of their customers posted the following question. It was one of those "aha!" moments followed by "you dummy, you should have known!" Anyway, I'm going to try this next time and I hope some of you will find this of interest.

    I have heard that batiks are not a good choice of fabric for applique. What do you think?

    While batiks have a higher thread count, so seem more tightly woven, they make beautiful applique quilts. Many fabrics are woven with a high thread count and stitch with no problem at all. What really makes some batiks more difficult to stitch is the resist that is applied to the fabric to create the images on the fabric during the dying process. If the resist is not completely removed it can be a little more difficult to needle. Here is our number one tip when using batiks:

    Wash and dry batik fabric three times, using hot water. The first time use Synthrapol or Orvus to remove excess dyes. Then wash two more times with your other laundry. The added agitation and heat helps to remove all the resist.

    For any tightly woven, or high thread count fabrics, use a size 11 straw, or milliners, needle. The thinner needle slips through the threads of the fabric more easily.

    With these few tips, there is no need to avoid this whole class of beautiful fabrics for your applique.

  2. #2
    Senior Member momymom's Avatar
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    Great tips. Thanks

  3. #3
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    I appliqued a Hawaiian pattern with batik (prewashed just once normally, like all my fabrics). Used size 10 milliner's (straw) needle and had no problems at all.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i love using batiks for applique and that is what i used for my hawiian applique projects. i always pre-wash batiks because they do tend to bleed, and i had no problems stitching after just one wash. it makes sense that it's the resist that causes the stiffness and trouble stitching through, i thought it was just the thread count too...so i always make sure to get out a nice new sharp needle to start.

  5. #5
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this with us :D:D:D

  6. #6
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    I've used them for the Pacific Rim quilts and really like using them because they don't ravel easily. I use a really teeny needle.

  7. #7
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Here's something I've learned recently. John James has a new needle out. Its called Gold n Glide. They have applique and betweens in it and are wonderful for batiks. Even hand quilting!

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I'm glad you posted this. What a great tip.

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Great post. I wonder what they use for the resist in commercial manufacture? I know traditional batik is done with wax. I am wondering if you boil a big pot of water and submerge the fabric in boiling hot water if that will remove all the resist?

  10. #10
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I tend to pre wash fabric . And when needle turning I press over the pattern and then if it is not flat I glue which will wash out later, keeping it from the folded edge.
    Finished is better than a UFO

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