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Old 12-30-2017, 01:01 PM
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Default Batiks

Please, tell me all you know about batiks. I am getting ready to make a king size quilt with all batiks and don't want to mess this up! I have been told from one quilt store that batiks bleed like crazy. And the quilt store that I normally use told me that was "crazy"! She said that batiks have been washed repeatedly in the whole process and that they do not have to be pre-washed. I want Your opinions. Thank you so much.

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-30-2017 at 01:28 PM. Reason: remove shouting/all caps
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:14 PM
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I have to say that as a general rule, batiks do indeed "bleed like crazy". I think I remember seeing a post in the resources section about treating/prewashing batiks. I do not normally prewash, but I definitely do that with my batiks, especially the darker red, blue and purple ones.
Just my opinion, and persona experience, for what it's worth.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:29 PM
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i'm a prewasher, for sure. i've had batiks bleed.
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Old 12-30-2017, 01:45 PM
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In my experience some batiks do bleed but most of the ones I have used, do not bleed. I don't know how to tell which ones will bleed by looking at them. I have not mixed white or light fabrics with batiks so it didn't matter too much. I've been wondering if I could tell the bleeders from those that do not by ironing on a light background but I have not tried it yet ... just didn't think about it at the time.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:02 PM
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That sounds as if it would work. I usually test a small area using a dampened cotton bud (Q tip).
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:18 PM
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I don't prewash and have never had a problem since I started adding color catchers. Two or 3 for large quilts. Launder in cool water with Dawn.
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Old 12-30-2017, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MsHeirloom View Post
I don't prewash and have never had a problem since I started adding color catchers. Two or 3 for large quilts. Launder in cool water with Dawn.
Ditto! Color catchers rock...
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Old 12-30-2017, 07:33 PM
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I find that the intense reds and blues of both batiks and some regular fabrics may bleed (I had one batik that nothing would prevent from bleeding), so I always buy a bit extra so I can test to for color fastness.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:18 PM
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I love batiks because they don't ravel. But I have had bleeding. I use the color catchers and pray. "smile"
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Old 12-30-2017, 10:09 PM
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I will test a suspicious fabric (batik or not), but typically I do not prewash batiks. However, for the first wash of a quilt I take it to the laundromat and use their largest front-loader and Synthrapol. The large washer uses enough water to dilute any dye bleeds, and the Synthrapol suspends loose dye particles in the water so they go down the drain instead of settling into other quilt fabrics.

Color catchers are fine for catching small dye bleeds, but they are insufficient if you happen to have a fabric that bleeds a lot of dye into the water -- especially if you are using a domestic front-loader which does not use enough water to dilute a big dye bleed.

In my experience, batiks are no more or less likely to bleed than many other cotton fabrics. I think many years ago, when batiks first came on the market, the manufacturers were not as good about completely rinsing out excess dyes -- especially since those batiks probably originated in the native markets of Indonesia and Malaysia. Over the years, I think the process for making batik fabrics has become standardized to the same specifications used for other colored fabrics.

Edit: I should add that I prewash a fabric that seems to have excess dye, in part because I want to make sure that the problem is only excess dye that has not been rinsed out. Some "bleeders" were never properly set by the manufacturer and will never stop bleeding. Those I don't want to use in my quilts.

The main reason I choose to prewash a fabric is when it is a cheaper quality fabric, in order to tighten up the weave. I recently bought some wonderful solid red fabric at JoAnn's on sale for about $2.50/yard, along with some novelty children's fabric that was really cute. I prewashed both fabrics separately. Neither fabric bled, but I liked the way that prewashing tightened up the weave so they looked like much better quality fabrics.

Last edited by Prism99; 12-30-2017 at 10:13 PM.
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