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Thread: Can I mix batiks and non-batiks without prewashing?

  1. #1
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    Can I mix batiks and non-batiks without prewashing?

    I am planning a block of the month/ free style Dear Jane type quilt with various blue batiks (virtually all of them Hoffman) and Moda Bella Solid white as my background fabric.

    I am going to color bleed test the darker pieces but otherwise don't plan on prewashing (they are mostly fat quarters). I've read that batiks are made using very hot water so they don't ever shrink once we purchase them (not sure this is true--I would only wash this quilt in warm water with cold rinse). I haven't worked with any Moda bella solids yet so I don't have a point of reference on whether it will shrink or not. Can batiks and non-batik fabrics be mixed together in a quilt if they are not prewashed? Any advice or experiences you can share would be very helpful.

  2. #2
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I mix all the time and find that it is just fine. as long as you color test them you should be fine. as for batiks shrinking? I can't tell you one way or another if they do because I have never noticed any shrinking in washed quilts.
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  3. #3
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    If you read some of the recent posts about pre-washing....you should have your answer. I would never put an unwashed fabric with white. There have been many reports of batik bleeding.

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    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Ditto especially with batiks they are notorius for bleeding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    If you read some of the recent posts about pre-washing....you should have your answer. I would never put an unwashed fabric with white. There have been many reports of batik bleeding.
    Anna Quilts

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    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I am a pre-washer, a trait inherited from my mother. I have noticed that ALL my fabrics (with the exception of batiks) have shrunk WOF (selvedge to selvedge). Some more than 2". These were mostly LQS purchases, well known manufacturers. The cut length didn't shrink at all. I wonder how my quilts would look after washing when the shrinkage was all in one direction?
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  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Many batiks need pretreating with retayne to stop the bleeding/running. I had one batik that ran every time I washed it for 10 years. I would NEVER trust a batik not to run/bleed. On a Dear Jane .... way to much work to risk it! It really does not take long ... and I would be devasted if I did a Dear Jane and had my fabrics bleed.

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Here is a thread I wrote about my experience with shrinking fabric http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...e-t174883.html
    I don't have experience with batiks, however.
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    QuiltnNan, that thread you posted may be the tipping information for me to start prewashing everything. However, I have tons of fat quarters and wonder if those wash okay (I'm just wondering if they get distorted in shape). I have an expensive front loading LG washer and I HATE it. It is only 1 1/2 years old and I can't wait to get a new one. The clothes come out of it all tangled up. My daughters PJ pants get wrapped together (she usually has 5 to 6 pairs in the laundry a week) with other items and I have to untangle everthing before putting it in the dryer. Plus, the wash cycle washes everything in the equivalent of a shallow puddle.

    So, if you prewash some of your fabric, you really have to prewash all of it. If I use a large portion of the fabric left over after washing and cutting for my current quilt, how do you keep track of what has been washed and what hasn't. I have way, way too much fabric to prewash it all now.

  9. #9
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I think you'd be quite heartbroken if you didn't prewash your fabrics. Blue batiks are some of the worst as far as bleeding is concerned...at least in my experience, and I use batiks almost exclusively these days.

    You say yours are mostly fat quarters and you hate what your washing machine does to what's inside. How about filling up your kitchen sink with hot water, a bit of liquid soap and a couple Color Catchers to check for loose dyes and wash the batiks by hand? No need to scrub (they're not dirty), you're just freeing up any loose dye and letting any shrinkage take place...tiny little bit that there might be. Swishing them around for a couple minutes ought to tell you all you need to know. I've never had batiks distort in any way, even in the washer (but I wash fabrics on gentle in my 31 year old energy guzzling top loader).

    Hand washing is a quick, easy way to check for bleeding and you can rewash any bleeders until they stop (the Color Catchers will remain white). Toss the white fabric in the washer as Moda Bella does shrink. After that, your colors should all be safe as long as the quilt lasts and you'll never have to worry about it.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelinaMaria View Post
    So, if you prewash some of your fabric, you really have to prewash all of it. If I use a large portion of the fabric left over after washing and cutting for my current quilt, how do you keep track of what has been washed and what hasn't. I have way, way too much fabric to prewash it all now.
    Perhaps you could attach a safety pin through several folds of whatever fabric you wash (after it is washed and dried and ironed, of course!) so that when you stash it you'll know which has been washed and which has not. If it is your scraps you are thinking about, perhaps two bins - washed scraps and unwashed scraps.

    I have had batik FQs distort after washing, but I am a ruthless washer - the hottest wash and rinse cycles my machine has! I don't have a dryer, so all of my stuff is line dried - it is the washing that has done the distorting.

    Good luck! I'd love to see your Dear Jane when it is finished - I love blue and white quilts.

    Alison

  11. #11
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    One day it will probably jump up and bite me, but so far, I never pre-wash anything.
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  12. #12
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    I had a lady bring a beautiful hand embroidered quilt top to me and a beautiful batik for me to add the borders to it,
    Well since her quilt was all hand done and on white, I decided to wash the batik first and it really bled so I call her and told her and she brought me another fabric but this time a light purple bella solid thenks went well from there.
    So I would never use a batik without washing it first. JMHO
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    Super Member Havplenty's Avatar
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    yes batiks can be some of the worst bleeders. i handwash (in very hot water) any small pieces of fabric such as fq's. the wash agitator can surely distort them.
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  14. #14
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelinaMaria View Post
    So, if you prewash some of your fabric, you really have to prewash all of it. If I use a large portion of the fabric left over after washing and cutting for my current quilt, how do you keep track of what has been washed and what hasn't. I have way, way too much fabric to prewash it all now.
    As far as mixing prewashed and not prewashed batiks, it's not a problem. Other than the bleeding tendency, it doesn't matter if they're prewashed or not (unless you're going to fuse them) so you wouldn't really need to keep them separate. The 'don't mix' rule applies to regular cottons because the unwashed will shrink and the washed will not, making the quilt pucker unevenly when washed.
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  15. #15
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    I sink wash any fabrics less than a few yards or so. I don't want to put possible bleeders in with anything else, and can't see doing such small amounts of fabric in the machine. That way you can clearly see when the water runs clear, so I just keep filling, soaking, and rinsing until I feel safe about the colors. Batiks vary so much, from brand to brand, and color to color. Best to wash them all just to be sure.
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    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Absolutely NOT!!!!! I started buying batik fat quarters about a year ago for a pattern - then found another pattern, so decided to buy 1/2 yards - then decided that I really liked the batiks - so graduated to yards. I read so much on here about the batiks bleeding that I decided to see if they did - and boy, did they. I have a pure white dish pan in my kitchen sink and one day it was empty and clean - so I put a drop or two of liquid detergent in the pan with just a little bit of water and gently swished around some fabric - I would then rinse until the water was clear - sometimes it took many, many rinses to become clear. I laid them on big thick towels and rolled them up and then put the fabric over a clothes line that I had my DH to put up in my living room. It did not take them very long to air dry and they did not wrinkle very much either. I would say that a good 1/2 of them did bleed. I actually had to throw away two of them as they never did stop bleeding. I put them in piles of 25 when dry and wound up with more than 200 pieces. I would NEVER use a piece of batik without washing/rinsing it. Like a poster already said - I think that the blues were the worst - along with browns and golds and greens.
    Nikki in MO

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    Interesting comments on batiks bleeding. Maybe I'm lucky. I'm a prewasher anyway and I've only used Hoffman batiks to my knowledge and NEVER had a problem. I couldn't possibly tell you how much they may shrink but I think a small amount as most batiks are more finely woven then regular cottons. But being a tried & true prewasher, I'd always do that.

  18. #18
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    I've only used Hoffman and Island batiks, but use them all the time, and I've never had any of them bleed into anything, even the blues. I do not pre-wash fabric, and do wash (cool to warm water, gentle cycle, air dry) every quilt that I finish before I give it away.
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  19. #19
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Purple dye is notoriously unstable--that is why it is harder to find purple fabric. Red is also risky. How many folks are wearing pink underwear & athletic socks right now? I pre-wash all fabric whether it was from the $1 table at Wal-Mart or $11 per yard at the LQS.

    Definitely color test each & every batik. Some fabric that looks like a batik is really a print with an over dye. It will shrink a lot more than the true batik. True batiks are boiled to get the wax off so there's not much chance they will shrink but some dyes just don't "take". I love hand-dyes, tie-dyes & most batiks but mixing them with light colors without first testing them is a disaster waiting to happen. Oh, and test in both hot & cold water. I've had a few weird ones over the years that appeared to set in the hot water but when cold water was splashed on them after they were washed, dried & pressed--they ran a little bit.
    Beverly

  20. #20
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngelinaMaria View Post
    I am planning a block of the month/ free style Dear Jane type quilt with various blue batiks (virtually all of them Hoffman) and Moda Bella Solid white as my background fabric.

    I am going to color bleed test the darker pieces but otherwise don't plan on prewashing (they are mostly fat quarters). I've read that batiks are made using very hot water so they don't ever shrink once we purchase them (not sure this is true--I would only wash this quilt in warm water with cold rinse). I haven't worked with any Moda bella solids yet so I don't have a point of reference on whether it will shrink or not. Can batiks and non-batik fabrics be mixed together in a quilt if they are not prewashed? Any advice or experiences you can share would be very helpful.
    My preference is that any fabric used in a quilt be prewashed. I will wash fat quarters. I don't jellyrolls however.
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  21. #21
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
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    No question about it. I pre-wash. There are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong with my quilts without adding shrinkage and bleeding to the list!

    Dayle

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