The quilting world is a diverse one. There are different styles of quilts; various quilting techniques; thousands of colors, patterns, and designs; and a myriad of fabric choices. Batik is one of these many fabrics. Visit any fabric shop, and you’ll come across a batik section. But what is it? Below we delve into a brief explanation of the fabric and some key tips for quilting with batik fabric. Check it out!
What Are Batik Fabrics?
Batik fabrics have been around for a long time. Batik is an Indonesian resist-printing process that involves applying wax to the fabric in various areas. Once the wax hardens, the fabric is submerged in a dye. The dye cannot reach the fibers to which the wax is attached—when the fabric is boiled to remove the wax, it’s left with various marbled and mottled effects.
Tips for Quilting with Batik Fabric
Figure Out the Front
Some fabrics can pose more difficulties than others when it comes to sorting out the front versus the back of the fabric. A lot of people struggle with this problem with batik fabrics. Typically, you can figure it out by looking for dull edges on patterns and lackluster colors, as the back side doesn’t have as much saturation as the front.
Make the Most of Their Saturated Color
One aspect people love about quilting with batik fabrics is that the hues can be incredibly saturated. Of course, most fabrics come in tons of hues, but the saturation is especially notable with batik fabrics. Their colors have a depth and range that other fabrics just don’t have. Whether you’re looking for bold or muted colors, you can find them in batik fabric.
That said, one of our most important tips for quilting with batik fabric has to do with dealing with that saturation. Because the hues are so vibrant, they can end up bleeding quite a bit. Many batik fabrics tend to bleed and lose color more than traditional fabrics. Make sure to prewash your fabric before you start the quilting process to avoid bleeding and uneven shrinkage.
Steam It Up
Pressing is an important aspect of the quilting process, and it’s even more important with batik fabrics. Because of their tighter weave, they can be harder to press—but they tend to wrinkle more, and you don’t want that in your quilt. Use a fair amount of steam to press out those wrinkles. Once you do, the fabric will be even easier to work with.
Enhance with Appliqué
If you’ve never tried appliqués on your quilts, it’s time to use them with batik fabrics. Because of their tighter weave, batik fabrics don’t fray as much, which is ideal for appliqué. You may have to put in some work for needle-turn appliqué, but the result is definitely worth it!
For all your quilting needs, turn to Lindley General Store. We sell batiks in Canada—and everything else you need to create a magnificent quilt. If you need a way to pass the time, crafting is your friend. Start shopping now!