Monday, July 21, 2014

The batik explosion

I am in the process of re-washing my batik fabrics. I love batiks for their painterly effect but the chemicals used to process them give me big allergy problems. I know people who cannot even touch them in a store, in fact I have trouble walking past the row sometimes. But I want a piece of all of them.

These neutral batiks were washed once already but I can't piece with them because when I press them I get sick.
So I took out the drawer and it took two loads, two HOT water washes each, to start over. 
I thought, there! Three hot water washes! That should do it!
I still smelled about 6 of them while pressing.

WHAT does it take??

This is why I have trouble in classrooms. So many people do not prewash, and if the batiks still have that smell after three washes, imagine my reaction when someone is piecing with unwashed fabric.
Also a note: Check out how massive that pile of fabric is! It came out of the drawer on top of it in that top picture. This is the reason my drawer stays full no matter how much fabric I use!
The other note: After refolding it all went back into the drawer like this
It's only one of my four batik drawers. While folding I wondered how many yards are in here. YIKES!
(dh stop reading right now!) It might be about 70...although some might not be whole yards.
 I've been collecting fabric since 1985! I also seldom turn down fabric given me by friends.

I sure hope I can use them now that they have been washed two more times. Anyone else have sensitivities?
How do you deal with them? Is there a special soap? I already use unscented.


  1. I would love to have 4 drawers full of
    Batiks. I love them too!

  2. welllll buy a yard of batik every time you go to a quilt show or a store, and never use it because it makes you sick. After a few years you'll have a few drawers too!

  3. Magpie Sue of From The Magpie's Nest has major sensitivities . . .

  4. I want to come over and play in the batik drawers. I confess that I don't wash mine, but if you come for a visit, I will put them all in the laundry. It may take a while, so please give me plenty of notice!

  5. Hi LeeAnna!
    Sensitivities. A great question for today! I've had eczema voor years. Especially when I was treaining to be a chef, years ago. I finished the training, earned my papers then stopped a year after. There wasn't anything I could do. Now, years later, it seems to be ok. I wash with "Neutraal" soap and use "Klok" detergent, without perfume, that I get at the Health food store here.
    But now, I have a case of the Shingles. Comes from the same virus as Chicken Pox, which I had with a kid. No garden work for a while. And no creative stuff either. Thank goodness there's blogland!
    Thanks for sharing!
    "Save room in the garden for Fairies to play"

  6. Oh maybe that's why I am sneezing whenever I try to re-organize my batiks; I don;t have a lot of them, but they tend to make me very sniffy. Will definitely wash them...Thanks for the informative posting.

  7. Have you tried cooking soda? It is supposed to get rid off any smell. I used it for some fabrics I got from thrift store with not so nice smell. It worked. Just add it into wash.