Caring for your Batiks
Pre-Wash Your Fabrics: Batik fabrics contain wax and dye and must be cared for properly prior to using in quilting, crafting, and sewing projects. We recommend pre-washing all fabrics to minimize shrinkage and possible transfer of color. We would like to make sure you understand that each batik fabric will have some form of "Surface" dye and wax. You will feel this when you receive the fabric. We want to remove the "Surface" dye and wax.
Products We Recommend: Synthrapol and Retayne, both produced by Pro Chemical. Synthrapol is available for top load washing machines (regular Synthrapol) and front load washing machines (low foam Synthrapol). Select the right Synthrapol for your washing machine. Retayne is rarely needed as a prewash. It should only be used on fabric that will not stop transfering color.
Which product do I use? 98% of the time we recommend prewashing your fabric with Synthrapol (regular or low foam). The only time we recommend Retayne is with shades that are naturally suspect - including royal blue, red, dark purple, black, and deep green.
Retayne: is a surfactant and "sets the dye". Use 140-160 degree water temperature agitating in your washing machine (or sink) for 20 minutes and it will stop any fabric color transfer. Use it once. One to two cap fulls per yard of normal fabric - adjust for wide width fabric.
Synthrapol: is a soap that purges all unattached wax and dye stuff from the surface of the fabric. This product is also good for removing color that has transferred by mistake. Let's say you didn't prewash your fabric prior to sewing a quilt top with dramatic light backgrounds and bright/color saturated pieces. After washing the quilt you notice that a few bright shades transfered color to the light background. Washing (or spot washing) the affected areas on the quilt with Synthrapol will remove the color transfer from the light/white background.
What NOT to Prewash: do not prewash precut products. This includes 2 1/2" strips, 5" squares, 10" squares, shapes with or without fusible. Basically, anything that has been cut for use as is should not be prewashed. The shape and size will be distorted. When working with precuts - use Synthrapol in the first wash cycle after the project is completed and ready for a wash.
Care Instructions for all SewBatik Fabrics:
- Machine wash cool to luke warm with like colors on delicate cycle.
- Include Synthrapol -OR- Retayne in the wash depending on your dye test. See above notes - please read them.
- Do not bleach.
- Tumble dry, low temperature.
- Remove from dryer before completely dry.
- Hang to finish drying.
- Use cool iron to remove wrinkles from 72" Cotton Jersey Knit, 45" Rayon, and 58" Linen.
- Use warm to hot iron to remove wrinkles from 115" Cotton, 45" Cotton, and 57" wide Canvas.
A word of caution regarding Dye Catchers or Color Catchers. "Catchers" are color grabbers and do not treat the fabric. They basically are your eye in the washing machine to see if color is transferring and to catch the color from attaching to anything else that might be in the wash at the same time. It will not stop any bleeding or color transfer. It simply catches color. Prewash your fabric as outlined above and you won't need to worry about the need for color catchers. [ This is why Color Catchers are not sold in fabric stores, but in big box general merchandise stores. ]
Purchase Synthrapol 4 oz.
Purchase Synthrapol Low Foam 4 oz.
Purchase Synthrapol & Retayne 4 oz. as a Set
Purchase Retayne 16 oz.
Purchase Retayne 4 oz.