Batik, Hand-Dyed Craft Fabrics

Batik, Hand-Dyed Craft Fabrics

Batik is a type of Javanese or Indonesian fabric that is dyed with a wax resist technique. The wax is either drawn on with a brush by the artists hand or stamped onto the fabric with a copper stamp held by hands or machines. These colorful fabrics are used for home decor, clothing, quilts, and wall hangings.

What materials are batik fabric made from?
  • Linen: Linen is derived from plants. It is woven by machines into a fabric. The linen threads have a thick and thin texture. The woven material is lightweight and allows for light and air to flow through it.
  • Cotton: Cotton is woven or knit into a fabric. It is smooth to the touch, and the threads are the same in size. The cotton may be woven into poplin or knit into flannel in order to make the batik.
  • Polyester: Polyester is a man-made material that is machine-knit into fabric. It is soft to the touch with identically-sized threads. Cotton and polyester blends are also used for batiks.
What are the features of batik for quilting and apparel?
  • Precut pieces: Batik is available in precision machine-cut squares or strips. They range in size from 2.5 by 2.5 inch squares to 36 by 36 inch squares.
  • Pre-shrunk: The material has been washed, heat set, and dried after dyeing. This pre-shrinking process ensures that a finished garment or other item made from the material will not shrink any further after it is laundered.
  • Variety of colors and designs: The hand-painted nature of batik fabrics allows for a variety of colors and designs to be created. Each piece of fabric is unique.
How do you choose batik material for upholstery or apparel?
  • Select a length or size: The pieces may be precut into squares or strips for quilting. The pieces of material may be assembled as fat quarters, jelly rolls, or cakes. There are also pieces that measure one yard for upholstery, crafts, and small apparel items. For large upholstery or apparel projects, custom lengths of the material can be cut.
  • Choose a color: Select a color such as purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, or red. There are also multicolor options. Some of the pieces include black or white as a neutral paired with one or more vivid colors.
  • Select a manufacturer: There are many manufacturers of this type of material, including Hoffman California Fabrics, Michael Miller Fabrics, Moda, Quilting Treasures, Robert Kaufman, and Timeless Treasures. There are also unbranded options available.
  • Choose a type: Choose a batik that is suitable for crafts, upholstery, or apparel. Craft and upholstery batiks tend to have a larger selvedge and thicker texture compare to batiks for apparel.