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Thread: Batik pros and cons

  1. #1
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Does anyone have any input on working with batik fabrics? I am going to be attempting it sometime soon, and I am aware that they are tightly woven fabrics and should use a sharp needle. Any advice is welcome.

  2. #2
    Super Member Friendly Quilter's Avatar
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    I love working on batik materials. they keep there shape easy to iron, do not frey. In my opion they make a very sharp quilt. They are howeer a real pain to machine quilt. I am a long armer and the thread breaks alot when quilting them and it is not just me that says that.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    no cons as far as i'm concerned.

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    No cons at all from me either.

  5. #5
    Super Member franie's Avatar
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    I love batiks!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Friendly Quilter
    I love working on batik materials. they keep there shape easy to iron, do not frey. In my opion they make a very sharp quilt. They are howeer a real pain to machine quilt. I am a long armer and the thread breaks alot when quilting them and it is not just me that says that.
    I love batiks too but my machine quilter agrees with you!

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I can't think of any cons either :D:D:D

  8. #8
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Once you sew with batiks, you won't want to go back to regular ol' cotton. ;) :D

  9. #9
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i love working with Batik's the only issue i've ever had was using fusable on them, i don't know if it was due to the wax or what but i really had trouble trying to use one fusable; it did not adhere and made everything very 'shiny' i may have had the iron too hot for the fabric and fusable combo, i really don't know but i dont' bother trying fusables any more i save the batiks for other projects, but they are wonderful to work with!

  10. #10
    Super Member Mary O's Avatar
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    Hated batik's at first when they came out but I've made my first quilt now.The rule from other top quilters is to wash your fabric twice.Flannel once.Cotton once......

  11. #11
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I love to work on Batiks but... Just a few notes:
    1. Do pretreat/wash fabrics with Retayne, batiks RUN/Bleed. it so worth the time to get to the problem prior to constuction. Prewashing will reduce some of the running/bleeding but unless pretreated they will continue to keep running ( smaller amounts at each washing) .
    2. It can be tough to buy Batiks over the internet . Not all the colors will show in the small swatch, or the evenness of the color placement. Batiks like the Hoffman watercolor collection are really one color tone/tone so it is not so much of an issue with that collection.
    I once purchased a batik on line , the swatch showed very good colors that I wanted but when arrived there was another color ( purple) that in the yardage.
    3. Do not use Heat and Bond light or heavy , it leaves a residue stain.
    4. Because they are so thightly woven , removing stitches can leave a permanent needle hole.
    5. hand applique is painful .... really its hard to get the needle through.
    6. If you run out of a specific batik it is next to impossible to get more . There is no identifier in the selvage , the fabric is completley dyed. So tracking one down ... is really hard. If purchasing from the internet do keep a note as to the manufacture and site used. There are a few batik lines ( Hoffman has one that is tonal , and produced for years , but there are lots and lots of shades in the collection and tough to see on a computer exactly which blue you have) .
    7. Repeat number 1 .... can not stress the pretreat enough.

    All that said .. I LOVE batiks and can not get enough of them. They can create some of the most dramatic quilts.

  12. #12

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    I love the batiks. Great quality fabric, wide variety of colors.
    The only negative I have come across is when making a quilt you need all batiks. I have tried incorporating batiks and other cotton fabrics and they just don't seem to work together.
    The lapquilt I made with batiks I machine quilted, using a walking foot on my Bernina 180 doing outline
    quilting and had no problem.

  13. #13
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pieces
    I love the batiks. Great quality fabric, wide variety of colors.
    The only negative I have come across is when making a quilt you need all batiks. I have tried incorporating batiks and other cotton fabrics and they just don't seem to work together.
    The lapquilt I made with batiks I machine quilted, using a walking foot on my Bernina 180 doing outline
    quilting and had no problem.
    I've mixed them without any problems. What kind of issue did you have?

  14. #14
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pieces
    The only negative I have come across is when making a quilt you need all batiks. I have tried incorporating batiks and other cotton fabrics and they just don't seem to work together.
    Hmmm, that's weird. I have incorporated batiks with other cotton fabrics as well and never had a problem. I think batiks make wonderful accent fabrics. I have never done a quilt that was 100% batiks.

  15. #15
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    My main issue with batiks, is I never feel I have enough of them. I love working with them!

  16. #16
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I agree that the look of them is stunning, however I also think that since they do run and bleed alot, it can be a pain to work with them. I had a quilt that was washed before cutting and quilting, and it still ran and pretty much ruined the look of the quilt.

  17. #17

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    Maybe its just a personal thing. (?) I make scrappy quilts mostly, and when I tried to incorporate some batik scraps they just didn't seem to blend in.

  18. #18
    mlaceruby's Avatar
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    LOVE Batiks!!!!
    I have never had a problem with them bleeding.
    and I quilt them with the longarm no problem, I just slow down a tad bit.
    I have made all batik quilts,backing and binding included and they are some of my most stunning!
    they are very tightly woven so no hard stitching, but no
    shrinking either.
    I use them with other cottons but I try to match weight.
    kona cotton is of a similar weight and works well.
    I just got the Benartex Fossil ferns and love them!

  19. #19
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlaceruby
    I just got the Benartex Fossil ferns and love them!
    Bernatex Fossil Ferns are not batiks. Granted, they have a batik look about them but they are a normal screen printed 100% cotton and not batiks. But I am with you I love them too. So many colors too choose from, great blenders and lovely look to them.

  20. #20
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I've never had a running batik either. They go thru som many harsh processes I just don't see how they can run, maybe it's the brand.

  21. #21
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I buy a lot of batiks from Thailand and have never had a problem with them. The beauty is in the unexpected colors that pop up here and there

  22. #22
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    thanks for very good info!

  23. #23
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I've never had a running batik either. They go thru som many harsh processes I just don't see how they can run, maybe it's the brand.
    I have used hundreds of yards of batiks, the problem is not really in only one manufature, I have had it in all the major brands from Hoffman, Moda, Kaufman, etc.
    To test I put the batik in a sink with Warm water ( helps to remove a wax residue,as well as some of the chemicals bonded in the wax) and leave it over night. Some that you think are OK once really saturated in water will run. Since soaps will remove some of that residue wax/chemicals much in the same way the warm water will react , you will be surprised at how many will run/bleed. It is a big clue when you put the batik in a sink of water and it seems to resist absorbing the water. This is a major sign that there is still a wax residue ( with chemicals) in the fabric. Have you ever noticed that some batiks have a strong distictive smell, this is also a sign of the chemical residue. I first noticed when I was pressing with steam the distictive smell. It is not an overwhelming odor , but noticable.
    Mostly now I just assume they will and pretreat. This is a problem that is not getting better as Batiks grow in popularity. It is getting worse.
    Do note there are batiks and then there are fabrics that look like batiks that are not manufactured in a traditional batik manner, marketed as batik. They are hand painted or sprayed. It is surprising how many "batiks" are really sprayed , and not done with the wax and resist. Some are done in a combination of methods. The label on the bolt does not distinguish. And then there are the printed fabrics made to look like batiks ... that is a whole different subject or should I say "keetle of Dye".

  24. #24
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    no cons as far as i'm concerned.
    Ditto! Fantastic colors!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Rachel's Avatar
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    I love batiks, that's the majority of my stash. I've only had problems with 2 of them running (one was a cheaper one I got at Joann's the other from ebay). I use Isacord thread as a general rule when peicing and also when quilting and I've never had a problem with the tight weave, even on the longarm.

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