Lesson in Batiks

Since my Storm at Sea quilt is made of batik fabric, I thought I would explain the difference between batik fabric and regular fabric.

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First, batik fabric is typically 100% cotton. It is usually a little bit thinner and lighter in weight than regular cotton fabric. This makes it great for spring/summer quilts.

Batik fabric is made using what is called a “wax resist” process. This entails the designer/artist applying wax to the fabric and then hand dying it. The wax prevents the color from being absorbed by the fabric. This process can be done multiple times with different colors to give the fabric a unique look.

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Because batiks are dyed this way, they are also the same on both sides. So when quilting with batiks there is no front or back of the fabric.

For these reasons, batik fabrics are typically more expensive as this process is time consuming and labor intensive. Side note: if you live in San Diego, I recommend checking out Rosie’s Calico Cupboard. They have a whole room dedicated to batiks and their prices can’t be beat.

I used to avoid batik fabrics because I favored more traditional quilts (I thought most of the fabrics looked like my Dad’s Hawaiian shirts). However, when I saw more and more unique quilts that used batik fabrics, I became hooked and I now have a batik fabric stash. I love the amazing colors and designs that batiks come in. If you are looking to give your quilting some flare, I definitely recommend delving into batik fabrics.

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Happy Quilting!

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