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Thread: Batik fabric hard to sew through!

  1. #1
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Batik fabric hard to sew through!

    goodness, i've never had so much trouble sewing through Batik fabrics. when i have two of them together, they tend to dull my needle quickly or get pushed down into the feed dogs. i have some more that has fern print on them and when i add one of the fern with the other, it goes through easier.
    I changed to a Sharp needle but now having more problems.
    how in the world will i be able to quilt this thing?? anyone has this much trouble?
    most of the fat qtrs were splotchy print and then some fern print that was not as wide either.
    I have three more rows to piece, then to put the rows together. But not tonight?
    all lovely Fall colors too.
    maybe i should let a Long arm quilter do this one, he, he.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

  2. #2
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    Try a size 11 needle. I can sometimes hear the needle go through a heavily dyed batik, but it always goes through. Do you have a staight stitch machine or a SS needle plate for your machine? When I try to piece on a zigzag machine, the fabric is pushed down into the feed dogs.

  3. #3
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Did you pre wash your batik? I hear it really helps in sewing on it. I have batiks but haven't found a project for them yet.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  4. #4
    Super Member Wine Woman's Avatar
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    I was told to use a quilting needle. I haven't had any problems but I'm also using a Featherweight machine and nothing seems to phase these little machines! Even layers of flannel went through just fine. My Bernina was not liking these two fabrics very well so I pulled out my featherweight! It did such a great job.
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  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Sorry you're having problems with batiks. I use them (prewashed) all the time on my Bernina with none of the issues that have been mentioned. I use a microtex (aka sharp) needle, size 90/14, with a zigzag stitch plate and there's no resistance at all, absolutely none.
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  6. #6
    QM
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    I had problems with my old Bernina, even with a new needle and prewashed fabric. I have not had any problems with my straight stitch Janome. I have sewn a great many batik fabrics since I changed machines (the motor gave out on my 3 year old Bernina.) I had a few minor problems with my Janome 6600 doing embroidery edging stitches through multiple layers of batiks. I had a featherweight for a while. I did not much care for it, but it did sew batiks just fine.

    BTW, Superior Threads sells a super-sharps needle that I have been very pleased with since I got the first one a few months ago.

  7. #7
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Yep its horrible fabric. Getting the quilt top together was a real chore. Its been in the closet waiting to be quilted for about a year now. Good luck with all the suggestion.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I hate to say this, but I've never had a problem with batiks when I hand sew or hand quilt through them. I prewash mine, so maybe that's the key.

    Janet

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    Senior Member RV Quilter's Avatar
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    Love batiks! No problem with stitching on my Janome 6600 even some minimal quilting on those not sent to LA Susie.
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  10. #10
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    I washed mine before doing anything but I had 4yrds that I cross hatched quilted then cut and sewed to make a jacket out of and had not problem and used the same needle thru the whole process which was just a general quilting needle.
    Judy

  11. #11
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    I use titanium coated needles from Superior Threads for all my machine piecing. They are very sharp and last a very long time.
    Universal needles have a rounded, not sharp, point so don't sew densely woven fabric easily.

  12. #12
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    Some batiks seem to be denser than others. They are my first choice for raw edge appliqué for that reason because they resist fraying. I have not tried piecing with them and I hope you can struggle through.

  13. #13
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I use batiks all the time and have never had a problem, except for user error. I even hand sew the binding to the back of quilts where both binding and backing are batiks and find I like to sew them more than non batiks fabric.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I have had problems quilting all batik front and back quilts. I use schmetz top stich needles 90/14 for quilting and schmetz micro tech sharp 11/75 for piecing batiks. I think the weave can be very thight and cause problems. The fabric was washed Hoffman batiks. Indeed a straight stich plate can help or a vintage machine that has a straight stitch plate because it is straight stitch only.
    Anna Quilts

  15. #15
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    I use a Schmetz Microtex Sharp needle 130/75 H-M , Size 80/12. I get them at JoAnn's, I mainly sew batiks and never have had a problem. I took a quilting class, the instructor had us use batiks and this needle.

  16. #16
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    I think the term batik includes a lot of different fabrics. Some are very thickly and closely woven, others are thinner and loose. It's really used more for a style of fabric, so you never know for sure. I've used lots of Hoffman and Moda batiks, and never had this problem. Recently bought some less expensive but lovely batik at Ben Franklins and had to wash, and rinse, and wash and rinse multiple times to stop excessive bleed. It sewed quite normally though. Good luck with your project.

  17. #17
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    I haven't had any problems at all with any of the batiks I've used either with hand stitching or on my cheapie Brother from Walmart or with my Featherweight. In fact I find batiks extremely easy to sew.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  18. #18
    Super Member SueSew's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you are having trouble with batik fabric dulling your needle. It does have a very fine, dense weave which I find thoroughly delightful. It seems to know its place when you press it, and my blocks lie flat without the seam allowances coming unpressed. Of course I am not a great machine quilter so perhaps that's why I don't notice any issues there. And I am not a speed quilter. I do use the smaller size sharp for piecing and a larger quilting or topstitch needle for machine quilting.

    Good luck with your unruly batiks! I hope the next batch is better.
    SueSew
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    I just love batiks. Try the straight stitch needle plate and pre-wash. These seem like the best suggestions.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  20. #20
    Super Member alwayslearning's Avatar
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    I also use Schmetz Top Stitch needles on the Singer Q (not exactly top of the line). I both wash and not. And I am addicted to batiks. Sometimes, when we expect difficulties they appear. Perhaps, you have felt that batiks are difficult to work with and your fears manifested themselves. Can you take a break to work on something else and go back fresh? Good luck!
    "Only those who know enough is enough can ever have enough." Lao Tzu

  21. #21
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have used lots of batiks, never pre-washed, and never had a problem sewing them on my Bernina. I believe batiks are made with a different weave of cotton than other quilting cottons -- more threads per inch. For this reason, I think they may be harder to hand quilt. I just have had no problems at all with machine piecing and machine quilting batiks.

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    Went to a talk by Tracy perrara last week she is a long arm quilter and recommended washing batiks at least twice before using them to get the wax out of them as this is the problem hope this helps for next time!

  23. #23
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Yes i've used BAtiks before without much trouble. these fabrics were lovely but very tightly woven. I used a 14 quilt needle and changed to a sharp 10 one. better but after awhile it began to have trouble too. yes, my throat plate allows zig zag, so the fabric can go down in there. I don't have a small hole plate for straight stitch. Perhaps I should see about finding one. and yes i did wash my fabrics.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

  24. #24
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Never had a problem with batiks, just use sharp size 11 quilting needle and stitches nicely on my brother and babylock machines. I don't prewash, so that shouldn't be an issue either. It has to be some simple machine problem not the fabric. is everything cleaned and threaded properly because sewing batiks shouldn't be any harder than sewing on regular quilters cotton

  25. #25
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    I sew with batiks all of the time and have never had an issue on either my Bernina, Pfaff or Brother machines. I do normally use a 75 Quilting needle. I have several friends with all kinds of machines and using different needles that use batiks and they have not had any issues. I love them

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