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How To Care For Your Batik

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Batik may be a delicate piece of textile, but with some good care practices, you can prolong the life of your batik for many years to come. Here are our top tips for how to care for your batik products.

1. A Cold Wash

Owning a Batik cloth is precious treasure. The best way to clean it is by giving it a cold hand wash. Use a gentle soap like baby shampoo as it will not react with the dyes. Nevertheless remember to watch for colours running. To dry, simply lay your batik flat or hang it up. Remember to never wring your batik as this will damage the cloth.

Unlike machine printed fabric, the colours on handmade batik are not colour-fast. They tend to fade slightly with every wash, giving off an almost vintage feel. While this is unavoidable, we feel that this adds to its beauty with time.

This method of washing applies to any batik apparel or home decor including skirts, dresses, blouses and pillow covers. 

2. Everyday Storage for Batik Cloths

Some pieces of batik are not meant to be worn casually. These are usually heirloom pieces that have been passed down for generations and are only used during meaningful occasions such as weddings, moving countries or as home decor pieces. Do you have pieces like this at home? If you do, then they should preferably be stored rolled, just like the fabrics you see in textile stores.

Folding batik may cause cracks in the patterns where the wax was once used to draw them. Of course due to constraints in space, rolling may not always be the best option. It is still possible to keep them folded but do remember to open and air them at least twice a year. This will also prevent the build up of dust and any pest.

3. Everyday Storage for Batik Products

As with many things we own, moisture and humidity are the main cause of deterioration of Batik. Keep your batik apparel, clutches and any other accessories dry with the help of dehumidifiers or moisture absorbing sachets that you can easily get in any homeware store.

4. Keep Away From Light

Exposure to light result in fading and discolouration of not just batik, but most dyed textiles. The best way to combat this natural ageing is to keep your storage area dark and away from light (both natural and electric) as much as possible. Even natural light coming through windows can cause your textiles to fade. T

How do you care for your batik? Have some tips you would like to share? Tell us in the comments and we will add them to this post. 

Image credits:

All images are our own and subject to strict copyright regulations.

Comments on this post (2)

  • Feb 04, 2019

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for dropping by. There is no way to prevent the colours from running usually, though how much it runs can be controlled. I’m not too sure about any expert batik cleaners in CA but I’m getting in touch with a contact who is based in SF right now. Will keep you posted!

    — Aqilah Zailan

  • Feb 04, 2019

    The information was very helpful, thank you. I’m hesitant to wash the batik myself (with my luck, it will run), but can you tell me if there are any expert batik cleaners in or near Carmel, CA? I have works by Taj Iraj Tehrani that are probably valuable but I don’t know of anyone in the area that can appraise batiks. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you.

    — Lisa Stuber

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