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Is there anything I need to know when it comes to working with batiks?

Is there anything I need to know when it comes to working with batiks?

Old 07-10-2012, 09:15 AM
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Default Is there anything I need to know when it comes to working with batiks?

I am now, for the first time, making a quilt using batiks. I cut all the pieces out, but wanted to find out if there is anything I need to know before I start sewing and ironing it. Is it just the same as cotton? It feels different, so I feel I need to be cautious and ask questions.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:32 AM
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Batiks are notorious for bleeding, so wash before cutting AND be sure to set the dyes with Retayne.

Oh ... looks like you've already cut!
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:43 AM
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I've worked with batiks and have done nothing different with them. I don't prewash them, but I do test suspicious fabrics by dropping a piece in a glass of water to see if it bleeds. If you are using a background fabric, it's a good idea to drop that in after awhile to make sure that it doesn't get stained (different fabrics pick up bleeds differently).

Batiks use a slightly different weave than other fabrics. This sometimes creates a problem for long-armers when batik is used for the backing fabric, although that may also be related to the specific machine and batting. You can still mix batik fabrics with other cotton fabrics in a quilt top.

I always do the first washing of a finished quilt in Synthrapol to make sure that any minor bleeds are rinsed away in water. This is true of quilts with and without batiks in them!
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:16 AM
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Other than the Bleeding issue, I use a smaller needle for piecing. Batiks are a tighter weave , and a large needle will make a hole rather than slide between the fibers. I use a 70/10 needle or occasionally a 75/10.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:26 AM
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Yes, do prewash. Use a sharp needle (Microtex 70/10 is what was recommended to me).

And then enjoy working with what I believe are the most luxurious and wonderful fabrics ever!!
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:01 PM
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I just finished a batik quilt for my oldest daughter. I did blue blocks and sand blocks with blue appliques. I never prewash because I think they cut more precise but that's just me. I washed it the day before yesterday with a color catcher and dried it. The color catcher was blue and I sent her two of them but no bleeding issues on the quilt. Hope that helps, your going to get divided advise. The biggest difference I've noticed between cotton and batiks are that batiks have no give. When piecing you have to be alert and there very little room for error lol I'm not perfect so I don't do star projects with batiks.
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:18 PM
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I think the main thing you need to know is that you'll be hooked from now on and will be putting batiks into every project!!!

(Or, maybe that's just me...)
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:01 PM
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It's more difficult to hand stitch on them if you have arthritic fingers or thumbs. I wouldn't want to hand quilt one
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by QuiltingCrazie View Post
The biggest difference I've noticed between cotton and batiks are that batiks have no give. When piecing you have to be alert and there very little room for error lol I'm not perfect so I don't do star projects with batiks.
This is not true at all. Because they have a tighter weave (higher thread count), they may have very slightly less stretch than regular cottons, but it's certainly not missing by a long shot. I use batiks extensively, adapting my needle, tension, thread and stitch length for the tighter weave and thnner weight, but otherwise treat them just like any other cotton.

Batiks do not ravel, so there is more leeway in seam allowance width. They press sharply with no starch or other aids. If you unstitch, the needle holes are apt to remain visible, but they will close up with washing/spritzing. Since they are new to you, try a sample block before you go into full gear on your project. Work out the tension and stitch length issues, how it handles, etc, all on that one block instead of on many.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jcrow View Post
I am now, for the first time, making a quilt using batiks. I cut all the pieces out, but wanted to find out if there is anything I need to know before I start sewing and ironing it.
Don't drool on it. ;~) I love the texture/depth batiks give to quilts. They can bleed a bit so I hope you prewashed or rinsed. Enjoy!

piney
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