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Thread: Washing Batiks or Not?

  1. #1
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Owensboro, KY
    Hi everybody! I'm collecting batiks to make a Maple or Autumn Leaf quilt where each individual piece of the leaf is a different batik but in the same color way. So there will be browns, oranges, reds, purples, blues and yellows in the leaves; i.e. one leaf will have varying shades of browns, another would have varying shades of purples/blues, another shades of reds/burgundies, etc. I saw it made up on someone's site, I think it was Amish made. I'll attach a picture for you to get an idea of what it's supposed to look like.

    So, I have two questions.

    First, I'm pretty sure I need to prewash the batiks, right? If so, will they ravel? Should I use soap or just water?
    Then, after washing, do you use the clothes dryer to dry them?

    Second question.
    I can't decide what to use for the background fabric. Batiks; especially if you're using several different ones for each leaf, are pretty busy. I was thinking about using a tea-stained or aged muslin in a darker cream color for the background. Then, use a color for sashing and color for the borders. What do you think? Would that work?
    When I've looked for a pretty plain cream colored batik, they all have patterns. I'm afraid that's just too much pattern with the leaf being so busy. Just wanted to get everyone's input to help me decide.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Enid, OK
    Blog Entries
    I have not had batiks bleed, but others say they do.
    You simply test your fabrics by tearing off the selvage and putting it in hot water..if it bleeds, then wash it!

    I have put up to 30 fabrics in one load with 2 color catchers and they came out fine!

    Batiks are a tighter weave, so they do not ravel as much, but I still pink my corners! AND wash a gentle cycle!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    baticks have been boiled to remove the wax so they are not likely to shrink any more that they already have. As the previous poster said they also tend to be quite closely woven so the only wash or not ot wash dilema results from potentail bleeding of dye.

    Pre test everything or just wash everything. Clipping off the corners reduces the ammount of catching of the fraying.
    I also know someone who used to do that so she could tell if a fabric in her stash had been washed! Corners off washed already corners intact not yet washed.

    Have fun sound like a lovely project.


  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Blog Entries
    I usually wash with color catchers first. I think the quality of batiks can vary, so if I was mixing better quality with not so good quality, I'd definitely wash.

    I think there's enough pattern in the fabrics and design that you could use muslin and it would look fine. I like the 200 count premium muslin. It feels a bit nicer to me than the cheaper stuff. I got some Legacy on sale at Joann's last week, came out to $3.50 yd. Nice! There are some pastel batiks with very little design...think Hoffman 1895's like this one:


    or the new connecting threads one called Plumage, dove color. I don't think the little bit of "pattern" these have would distract from the block.


    Be sure to come back and show us your quilt!

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Blog Entries
    batiks are a tighter weave and really do not fray much but they do run---they need to be pre-washed with detergent- so they do not all run together on your back ground.
    i usually take them out of the dryer before they are quite dry-then iron them-
    batiks are wonderful to work with...crisper than regular cottons

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I just finished a wedding quilt and used a small amount of Batik for the inner border and the binding. I had just put the border on and read on here - QB that the Batiks bleed. Paniced I though what will I do I have already quilted this. I was going to bind the quilt in the Batik also --soooooooo off to the kitchen sink to test -- WOW did it bleed. I bled it out 4 times in hot water and hung it on the clothes line to dry. Then applied the binding to the quilt and with a (4) color catchers washed the quilt. It didn't run on the white or sky blue. Whew--- but made a believer out of me for pre-washing everything. Also using some LQS fabric for a baby quilt -red 30"s print and decided I need to wash that too so off to the kitchen sink and sure enough it bled also. Washed it 6 times ! So in my opinion all fabric needs to be prewashed !

  7. #7
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Blog Entries
    I don't prewash as a rule but have lots of boxes of Color Catchers and use them with every quilt I make when I wash them after all is said and done. It will be a lovely quilt when you make it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma
    I believe it is ia good idea to prewarsh battiks if you intend to later wash the quilt. Better to be safe than disappointed. If, however, it is going into a wallhanging then I do not wash.
    Sometimes when we try to save a little time in the beginning of a quilting project it comes back to haunt us in the future.

  9. #9
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Whitewater, WI
    I do prewash mine on gentle, and I do dry them in the dryer.

  10. #10
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    I have some batiks that bled terribly and others that didn't. So it is a good idea to pre wash them.

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