Batik fabrics are dyed with handmade patterns using a wax-resist technique.This luxurious textile requires special cleaning methods to extend the life of this decorative material. Whether you own a handmade batik blouse, or a dress or shirt made from this delicate fabric, it is important that you properly care for your batiks to keep the colors vibrant and the cloth in good condition.
Clean batik fabrics in cold water with similar colors on a gentle or short wash cycle. Use a standard household washing machine or by hand, but with a gentle laundry detergent. Wash a new batik design in one or two additional cold rinses to remove excess dye from the fabric. Do not use ammonia or other harsh bleaches. Bring your batiks to a professional dry cleaner to be cleaned if they are very thin or have additional embellishments.
Toss the washed batik fabrics into the dryer on a warm temperature setting until they are completely dry. Do not twist or wring the fabric when removing excess moisture. Air-dry them instead (away from direct sunlight) if they have adornments or decorations on them.
Iron batiks on a low or medium heat setting if they become wrinkled. Do not use a garment steamer or steam setting when ironing, because it may distort the fabric. Place thin pieces of cotton cloth on both sides of the batik fabric while ironing. This offers additional protection against fabric distortion.
Fold batik fabrics and store them away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and distortion when they are not being used or displayed. Place fabrics in airtight plastic bags during long-term storage to protect them against moths and other potential damage.
- "Batik, Tie Dying, Stenciling, Silk Screen, Block Printing: The Hand Decoration of Fabrics"; Francis J. Kafka; 1959
- "Batik Gems: 29 Dazzling Quilt Projects"; Laurie Shifrin; 2008
- "Batik and Tie Dye Techniques"; Nancy Belfer; 1972
South Florida resident Angela Faustina Kramer has been a freelance writer and photographer since 2007. Her writing and artwork has appeared in local magazines like “Edible Sarasota Magazine.” Kramer is a recent graduate of New College of Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors in fine art/history.