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.
Products We Recommend: Synthrapol and Retayne, both created by Pro Chemical. Synthrapol is available for top load and front load (low foam) washing machines. Retayne is only available for top load and sink application. The reduced amount of water in a front load washing machine will not activate the properties of Retayne. Purchase the right product for your washing machine style.
Which product do I use? Test a corner of your fabric with hot water and a white cloth. If the fabric transfers color to the white cloth prewash it in Retayne. If it doesn't transfer color use Synthrapol. Most fabrics don't require Retayne but some do. Suspect colors are royal blue, red, dark purple, black, and deep green. Once you become familiar with the shades that have a tendency to bleed you no longer need to test.
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. Let's say someone didn't prewash their fabric, sewed lights and darks together in a quilt and the color from the dark bled to the light. Synthrapol will remove the color transfer.
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 and 45" Cotton.
A word of caution regarding Dye Catchers or Color Catchers. "Catchers" are not intended for prewashing. 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. 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 Retayne 16 oz.