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Puckers in a Batik

Puckers in a Batik

Old 09-08-2016, 05:43 PM
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Default Puckers in a Batik

I bought this fabric years ago because I love the colors. I think I got it at JAF. I washed and pressed it, and the fabric seems to have drawn up in the dark spots, so that the lighter areas have more fullness. I wanted to use it as a backing, but found that I can't load it on the longarm evenly, and I was sure there would be puckers quilted into the back. I tried washing it again in hot water, hoping that the dye in the dark areas would soften up, but that didn't help. I can iron an area flat, but when I move on to another area the previous part puffs up again, even when I spray it as I go. Do you have any ideas for how to make this fabric behave? The only other option I can think of is to use it as a whole cloth top, so I can manage the puckering while quilting. I can't use it for piecing because it won't stay flat.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:52 PM
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On the plus side, now you know now it behaves.

I think sone fabrics are just determined to do their own thing . I have no ideas for how to make it lay flat.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:05 PM
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I have never seen that before! I wonder if you spray basted it fairly heavily when you sandwich the quilt if that would be enough to stabilize it during quilting. My other thought is that since it doesn't lay flat, little puckers are probably not going to show much anyway since the back will be slightly rippled anyway. Sure is a pretty print/colors, it would be a shame not to use it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:04 PM
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How about using it as backing on a quilt that you could load on your long arm backwards? In other words, quilt it with the backing on top.

ETA:. My guess would be that the fabric was not woven evenly so the threads are not evey spaced. Just a guess though.

Last edited by ghostrider; 09-08-2016 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:02 PM
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​I might cut a piece off and boil it on the stove in water. The dark part may still have wax in it? If the piece behaves after that you at least know what is causing it.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:55 PM
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Ghostrider, loading a pieced top under it is an idea. I've never done that and am not sure how it would work, dealing with the smaller piece on bottom instead of on top. I don't think it's the weaving of the fabric, because the dark spots are definitely where the fabric is drawn up.

Tartan, I'll try boiling a little bit of the fabric. If that fixes the problem (without ruining the color of the fabric) then I might be able to put the whole thing in a really big pot and boil away. Double double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:42 AM
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I have seen this happen with batik fabric a couple of times. I have a piece that has some distortion. In the process, as you know, wax is applied and then dye; the wax is removed with a heat process; new wax is applied and then dye. If the wax is overheated when it is being removed it can permanently stretch or shrink the base fabric. If you use the fabric as a backing you will have to just, at random, to allow the variations to be stitched down in the tiny pleats. If, on the other hand, you used it on the top as a whole cloth quilt, you would have opportunity for interesting design features. I think the fabric it stunningly beautiful. Various chemicals and heat can do permanent change to fabric.
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:20 AM
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Uneven shrinkage is an issue with some batiks. It'll quilt out ;-).
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Old 09-09-2016, 03:52 AM
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I have had this happen with batiks that have a design that seems to be painted with a child's paintbrush. I think it is whatever resist is used. Sometimes the batik itself is a more open weave.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dunster View Post
dealing with the smaller piece on bottom instead of on top.
Couldn't you sew some strips onto the edges of your top, as in another border which you will remove later?
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