Batik FAQ – Babecave Batik

Batik FAQ

What is Batik?Batik is a method of producing coloured designs on textiles by dyeing them, having first applied wax to the parts to be left undyed. Batik is a special type of material because it’s closer to artwork. Hand-painted and block printed pieces take excessive care and a delicate process of waxing dyeing and boiling to create these beautiful prints and colours.

When was Batik created?

Experts disagree as to the precise origins of batik, samples of dye resistance patterns on cloth can be traced back 1,500 years ago to Egypt and the Middle East. Samples have also been found in Turkey, India, China, Japan and West Africa from past centuries.

Although in these countries people were using the technique, none have developed batik to the intricate batik found on the island of Java in Indonesia. Which is why the birthplace of batik is said to be Indonesia.

Types of Batik?

There are two main types of traditional batik; hand-painted and block printed. Each have different styles and patterns they favour.

Sources

https://www.expat.or.id/info/batik.html

https://www.batikguild.org.uk/batik/history


The first wash: How do you clean batik for the first time?

Batik can be traced back to the 4th century BC and aren’t we lucky to have it today! However, it does need some love and care as some of their vibrant colours and patterns are made from a special dye. On your first wash the colours will run - don’t panic! Here’s some help. 

Instructions:

Hand wash your batik in cold water separately or with similar colors.

It’s best to use a gentle soap and not the typical detergents in the beginning - this will stop the colour from bleeding too much. We’ve used dove soaps and have great results. Specifically the Dove Go Fresh Fresh Moisture Beauty Bar Soap but any gentle soap will do.

After washing gentle wring out the fabric and set it to air dry (not in direct sunlight). 

Wait until dry and you’ve got your beautiful batik all clean and ready to go!

Can I iron my batik?

Yes. Our fabric is 100% cotton, and the dyes are not harmed by the heat of the iron.  

Do batik fabrics shrink?

No, your batik fabric would have shrunk in the process of being created and should no longer shrink after it’s yours <3

Why do the fabrics bleed?

The fabrics that bleed a little and then stop are simply over-saturated with dye. The fabric can only hold onto so much dye at a time. Any excess dye will come off in the water for the first few washes, once the excess is gone the bleeding will stop. Don’t worry you won’t lose the beautiful colours of your top.

How do you stop batiks from bleeding?

For the first wash this will be almost impossible to do, however there are ways to limit the bleeding of fabric. We would recommend using water that’s as cold as possible and making it a quick rinse followed by gently wringing the fabric out.

However there are more alternatives which include using vinegar and half a cup of salt. Feel free google these methods but we recommend going through the natural process.

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