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Thread: Washing Batiks or Not?

  1. #1
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Hi everybody! I'm collecting batiks to make a Maple or Autumn Leaf quilt where each individual piece of the leaf is a different batik but in the same color way. So there will be browns, oranges, reds, purples, blues and yellows in the leaves; i.e. one leaf will have varying shades of browns, another would have varying shades of purples/blues, another shades of reds/burgundies, etc. I saw it made up on someone's site, I think it was Amish made. I'll attach a picture for you to get an idea of what it's supposed to look like.

    So, I have two questions.

    First, I'm pretty sure I need to prewash the batiks, right? If so, will they ravel? Should I use soap or just water?
    Then, after washing, do you use the clothes dryer to dry them?

    Second question.
    I can't decide what to use for the background fabric. Batiks; especially if you're using several different ones for each leaf, are pretty busy. I was thinking about using a tea-stained or aged muslin in a darker cream color for the background. Then, use a color for sashing and color for the borders. What do you think? Would that work?
    When I've looked for a pretty plain cream colored batik, they all have patterns. I'm afraid that's just too much pattern with the leaf being so busy. Just wanted to get everyone's input to help me decide.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    I have not had batiks bleed, but others say they do.
    You simply test your fabrics by tearing off the selvage and putting it in hot water..if it bleeds, then wash it!

    I have put up to 30 fabrics in one load with 2 color catchers and they came out fine!

    Batiks are a tighter weave, so they do not ravel as much, but I still pink my corners! AND wash a gentle cycle!

  3. #3
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    baticks have been boiled to remove the wax so they are not likely to shrink any more that they already have. As the previous poster said they also tend to be quite closely woven so the only wash or not ot wash dilema results from potentail bleeding of dye.

    Pre test everything or just wash everything. Clipping off the corners reduces the ammount of catching of the fraying.
    I also know someone who used to do that so she could tell if a fabric in her stash had been washed! Corners off washed already corners intact not yet washed.

    Have fun sound like a lovely project.

    becks

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I usually wash with color catchers first. I think the quality of batiks can vary, so if I was mixing better quality with not so good quality, I'd definitely wash.

    I think there's enough pattern in the fabrics and design that you could use muslin and it would look fine. I like the 200 count premium muslin. It feels a bit nicer to me than the cheaper stuff. I got some Legacy on sale at Joann's last week, came out to $3.50 yd. Nice! There are some pastel batiks with very little design...think Hoffman 1895's like this one:

    http://www.hoffmanfabrics.com/SuperS...ProductID=2499

    or the new connecting threads one called Plumage, dove color. I don't think the little bit of "pattern" these have would distract from the block.

    http://www.connectingthreads.com/ima...nails/4470.jpg

    Be sure to come back and show us your quilt!

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    batiks are a tighter weave and really do not fray much but they do run---they need to be pre-washed with detergent- so they do not all run together on your back ground.
    i usually take them out of the dryer before they are quite dry-then iron them-
    batiks are wonderful to work with...crisper than regular cottons

  6. #6
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    I just finished a wedding quilt and used a small amount of Batik for the inner border and the binding. I had just put the border on and read on here - QB that the Batiks bleed. Paniced I though what will I do I have already quilted this. I was going to bind the quilt in the Batik also --soooooooo off to the kitchen sink to test -- WOW did it bleed. I bled it out 4 times in hot water and hung it on the clothes line to dry. Then applied the binding to the quilt and with a (4) color catchers washed the quilt. It didn't run on the white or sky blue. Whew--- but made a believer out of me for pre-washing everything. Also using some LQS fabric for a baby quilt -red 30"s print and decided I need to wash that too so off to the kitchen sink and sure enough it bled also. Washed it 6 times ! So in my opinion all fabric needs to be prewashed !

  7. #7
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    I don't prewash as a rule but have lots of boxes of Color Catchers and use them with every quilt I make when I wash them after all is said and done. It will be a lovely quilt when you make it.

  8. #8
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    I believe it is ia good idea to prewarsh battiks if you intend to later wash the quilt. Better to be safe than disappointed. If, however, it is going into a wallhanging then I do not wash.
    Sometimes when we try to save a little time in the beginning of a quilting project it comes back to haunt us in the future.

  9. #9
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I do prewash mine on gentle, and I do dry them in the dryer.

  10. #10
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I have some batiks that bled terribly and others that didn't. So it is a good idea to pre wash them.

  11. #11
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    Found this on the internet and thought it gave some good information on batik fabric. New needle needed.


    Choose a sewing machine needle with a sharp point. Needles made for work with denim, or a very fine, sharp point such as the Microtex Sharp needle are good choices for working with the high thread count of batik fabrics.


    Use light to medium weight silk, cotton or polyester thread when sewing batiks. Using the proper weight of thread will allow the finished piece to drape and form without bulkiness at the seams and hems

  12. #12
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I'm a prewasher of everything. I recently washed a finished quilt before I gave it to my son. Knowing I had prewashed, I hesitated before I used a color catcher. Its a big quilt, so just at the last second I added 2 MORE color catchers. They came out dark navy blue! I wish I had added more as one of the white fabrics and two off white picked up dye. I'm glad I prewashed it as he would not have put in that many color catchers. AND if I ever get out a dark one when I prewash, I will keep washing till the fabric quits bleeding..OR throw the fabric out!

  13. #13
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Gosh you all, thank you so much for the information. I feel better about starting on it now. I think I will order some of the "aged" looking muslin in an ivory color. I believe with the "busyness" of some of the batiks, it would be much better to have a solid background. Plus today, I found a 108" backing that is batiks but all in fall colors. I think that would be gorgeous on the back, unless I wimp out and buy the same muslin for the back because it's cheaper. (and that's probably exactly what I'll do too)
    Good advice from everyone! THANK YOU so much!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    I just got done "testing/washing" over 200 pieces of batik. I have been buying them for over a year when I found a pattern that called for 30 fat quarters - Lucky Stars. I just loved them so much that I kept buying but decided to buy 1/2 yard pieces instead of the fat quarters - more, if I found a bargain on batiks somewhere (not very often though). I finally decided that I had enough and started washing them in a pure white kitchen dishpan. OH MY, about 1/2 of them bled and actually wound up throwing two of them away because they never did stop bleeding. I put lukewarm water in my dishpan along with a few drops of detergent and squeezed my pieces around a few times to see if they bled. If they did not, then I rinsed in cool water, wrung out very gently and rolled up in fluffy towels - then put them on an indoor clothesline to dry. Not too much wrinkling that way. Some, I had to rinse many times until the water was clear.

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Try to make sure your muslin has a similar thread count and weave to the batiks. Some of the loosely woven, flimsy muslins wouldn't play very well at all with batik.

    If it's all you can afford, then fine, but otherwise I would never use muslin of any kind with batik. Too much like sneakers with an evening gown, imho. :lol:

  16. #16
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Ghostrider,
    What would you suggest for a background fabric then? I've looked for a rather plain batik background, but they are few and far between I'm learning. I can't find one that isn't heavily patterned. Any suggestions??

  17. #17
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Try looking at Kaufman's Artisan Batiks. There are 23 pages of them on the Hancock's of Paducah site and that should give you a good idea of what's available.
    http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/Item...atiks--srcin-1

    A good choice might be one of these for example:
    http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/Item--i-K-9483-157
    http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/Item--i-K-7000-15
    http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/Item--i-K-11604-96

    Here's a sort using cream batiks that might help, too
    http://www.hancocks-paducah.com/Item...abrics--m-4132

    There are really quite a lot of small pattern, tone on tone batiks in pale colors these days. Batiks have come a long way from their roots. :D Happy hunting.

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