Pink Castle Blog

What are modern batiks?  What is batik fabric?

Posted by Brenda Ratliff on Jul 21, 2016 11:40:00 AM

What is batik fabric?  What makes it modern?


Over the last few years we have all been introduced to a modern batik!  While all the other fabrics that we carry are screen printed on large machines in Japan or Korea, we now have over 100 hand printed batik fabrics from Bali and Indonesia.  You will see slight imperfections in the pattern and dyes on these hand fabrics which give them character.  The fabric weight is similar to a quilting cotton but it is slightly less heavy.  These fabrics work very well in quilts but will also make beautiful clothing!

Traditional Batik Fabric
Modern Batik Fabric











What makes a modern batik "modern"?

A more traditional style batik (the photo on the left below) the patterns made with wax stamped onto the fabrics with a tjap or a batik stamp are randomly placed.  On the modern batik fabric you see that they are more carefully and evenly spaced (photo on the right below).  In the finishing process of a traditional batik, the creators will spread salt on the fabrics as they dry to create the mottled background you see the in left photo.  The dye on the modern batiks are left more saturated.  You will still see slight changes and fades in the colors but it's not meant to be mottled.

But all in all, the process is similar! Many hands go into the making of these work of art fabrics.  We are proud to carry these fabrics created by our friends Alison Glass and the Me+You folks at Hoffman Fabrics. The team at Hoffman Me+You have put together this awesome video that shows the process from start to finish!  The Alison Glass Handmade fabrics are created in a similar way.




Will the color run with batik fabrics?  
No, the colorfast qualities of a batik are the same as a screenprinted fabric. You will not need to prewash but we always recommend using a color catcher when washing your handmade projects just in case of bleeding.

Do I need to use a different needle with a batik?
Nowadays batik fabrics are much softer than the fabrics from the last decade.  You can use your regular sewing machine needles, no need for a microtex or sharps needle anymore!
Flock of Seagulls quilt.jpg
Can I mix batiks with other quiling cottons?
Absolutely!  I use these with solids and other prints I have in my stash!  I made this Flock of Seagulls quilt with Alison Glass fabric both from her Handcrafted Indigo collection and from her Sun Print collection.
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Topics: Batik Fabrics, Fabric

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