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Thread: Share your tips: washing batiks

  1. #1
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    What do YOU wash your batiks with before you quilt them? I know that everyone has preferences and that the quality of your water also counts.

    What techniques and/or products have you found work best for washing batics prior to quilting? Especially those pesky orangy, red, yellow ones that bleed like crazy....

  2. #2
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    I washed my batiks. I should have washed them a few more times they bled anyway. Plus when quilting if you use batik top and back its better to wash them. You can't quilt it easily. Usually the thread breaks or you have tension issues. So, its suggested to wash them (by your long armer)

  3. #3
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I wash all fabric, except for the precuts and kits. When I wash batiks, I generally separate them into lights and darks and wash separately with color catchers. I use 2 on the darks. Haven't had a problem yet with them.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info. I bought 2 yard of beautiful purple, and haven't tried to use it yet. Since I don't normally wash new fabric, you saved me a big headache, and a disaster project!!

  5. #5
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    I always pre-wash.

  6. #6
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    I would love to prewash - except, when I've done it, the fabric is so soft it is much harder to piece. People talk about starch and ironing, but I guess I "iron" instead of "press," and the pieces take on a new shape or size. So, I really don't know what to do??

  7. #7
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i dont use many batiks

  8. #8
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    I wash mine in Retayne. It's a color fixative for commercially dyed cotton fabrics (that's what the bottle says!). It was recommended by our guild when we made an opportunity quilt with batiks. Seems to work great!

  9. #9
    jajudd24's Avatar
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    doesnt soak in salt water set colors????

  10. #10
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I test mine in the sink to see if they run - or how much. I only have small pieces of batiks. Retayne is an option or just soap and cool water.

    Quote Originally Posted by jajudd24
    doesnt soak in salt water set colors????
    That doesn't really work with the new dyes.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Zebra2's Avatar
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    The company I purchase batiks from recommends Retayne in cold water. I do this faithfully. I find they quilt better when pre-washed. I sometimes press with a light startch when cutting pieces.

  12. #12
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    I use batiks all the time and have never had them run...maybe I have just been lucky? I never pre-wash I did it once and it was a bad experience...I like to use the fabric as it is off the bolt.

  13. #13
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    I love batiks and have always washed them..... but..... when I purchased the fabric for the quilt I'm working on now the LQS owner told me she doesn't ever wash fabrics first. She says to put a label on the quilt telling the owners to wash in cold water only and include a box of Shout color catcher. That's what I plan to do.... sure hope it isn't a mistake.

  14. #14
    Super Member hobbykat1955's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nanna-up-north
    I love batiks and have always washed them..... but..... when I purchased the fabric for the quilt I'm working on now the LQS owner told me she doesn't ever wash fabrics first. She says to put a label on the quilt telling the owners to wash in cold water only and include a box of Shout color catcher. That's what I plan to do.... sure hope it isn't a mistake.
    Great Advise...I too never prewash my fabrics...

  15. #15
    LadybugPam's Avatar
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    One of my favorite quilting teachers told me she doesn't pre-wash her fabric. She finishes the quilt and then washes it to make it shrink. The quilting makes a texture you can feel.
    When I give a quilt I always recommend gentle cold water washing and in the dryer for half the time. And to finish on a line.

  16. #16
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I wash mine in warm water on the gentle cycle, shortest cycle. Then I dry them on low. I honestly havent had any of my batiks really bleed, must be lucky, because I buy them all over and all colors. I LOVE batiks!

  17. #17
    Junior Member caspoohbear's Avatar
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    where do you get Retayne?

  18. #18
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caspoohbear
    where do you get Retayne?
    Looks like it's on sale at JoAnns
    http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/p...RODID=prd56691

    Most fabric stores have it or something similar.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by candi
    Quote Originally Posted by caspoohbear
    where do you get Retayne?
    Looks like it's on sale at JoAnns
    http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/p...RODID=prd56691

    Most fabric stores have it or something similar.
    Interesting, thanks!

  20. #20
    Senior Member kwendt's Avatar
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    I was told that the yellow batiks are the ones that really really bleed a lot.

    I did a paper pieced mar. compass quilt where I used an orange batik, a Tonga I think. Top of the line LQS materials. Anyways, I washed it first as I was instructed. I ended up washing it 5 times! And it still bleed color. Interestingly, the fabric itself did not 'lose' color either. To my eye, it looked like the same bright orange.

    Prob. each bolt is different, since each fabric is hand dyed.

  21. #21
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Do pretreat with Retayne. Many batiks will not always run immediately since some still have a amount of resist still in the fabrics . I am always concerned when someone tells me they have not had a problem ...yet! Even if it had gone thru the wash and there was not a problem ... Considering there is a chance that a quilt could be left in the washer over night after it has completed a cycle and there is still water in the fibers ... this can have the dyes migrate to neighboring fabrics. I ahve had others tell me that the fabrics ran on the second wash , this is because there was some resit , and the soap eventually removed it and then they ran. I have found the Hoffman 1895's to be some of the worst for running and bleeding.
    Note the manufacture recommends hot water (140) for pretreating with Retayne. Why risk a disaster?

  22. #22
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    Why risk a disaster?
    It's not just that. When a batik bleeds a lot, it can actually change so much that it does not resemble the fabric you bought originally. That happened to me once (not a batik though). By the time the bleeding stopped, a beautiful indigo looked like a lifeless gray.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwendt
    What do YOU wash your batiks with before you quilt them? I know that everyone has preferences and that the quality of your water also counts.

    What techniques and/or products have you found work best for washing batics prior to quilting? Especially those pesky orangy, red, yellow ones that bleed like crazy....
    One Word - Retayne !
    This is some of the best stuff in the world! You only have to use it once and you can wash red with white with no running. I use it on my clothes. It's great stuff! I always say I should do commercials for it, cuz I'm always pushing it at the quilt shop..LOL ! Try it, and if it doesn't work, I'll reimburse your fabric! That's how sure of it I am! But u have to use it properly, read the directions!
    Have fun and good luck -
    Tracy

  24. #24
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i sort them by color, toss them into the washer, add a little detergent, and wash them on a normal cycle. then i toss them into the dryer...when they come out i enjoy ironing , caressing them :thumbup:

  25. #25
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    Quote Originally Posted by Lori S
    Why risk a disaster?
    It's not just that. When a batik bleeds a lot, it can actually change so much that it does not resemble the fabric you bought originally. That happened to me once (not a batik though). By the time the bleeding stopped, a beautiful indigo looked like a lifeless gray.
    So true !! I had the same experience with a fabulous blue, then after the bleeding .... well not so fabulous gray.

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