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57redbird

Softening batik fabric

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Hi all -- don't know if anybody can help but it's worth a shot.... I bought a great batik top on one of our excursions in the Caribbean ---- any idea how to soften the fabric up?   Even after machine washing & dryer sheets, it's still really stiff.....I know it's because they use wax to design it but I'd love it even more if it were softer.   TIA!

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20 hours ago, 57redbird said:

Hi all -- don't know if anybody can help but it's worth a shot.... I bought a great batik top on one of our excursions in the Caribbean ---- any idea how to soften the fabric up?   Even after machine washing & dryer sheets, it's still really stiff.....I know it's because they use wax to design it but I'd love it even more if it were softer.   TIA!

  Fabrics used for tourist Batik  are frequently very low grade cotton and are not soft because of the original quality prior to printing. The only suggestion would be to take the chance of putting it in very hot water in your washer and running it for two or three minutes on delicate. This would remove remaining traces of wax but chances are not soften the fabric very much. 

 

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Yeah, I would think it's the fabric not the dye process. Vinegar might work (not sure how it would affect the dy; I know with certain fabrics I've bought, I've "set" the dyes with salt water before washing, but I've never tried to set dye AND soften fabric with the same item)

 

ETA Professor Google tells me a salt water soak also softens fabric, so...

https://m.wikihow.com/Naturally-Soften-Laundry

Edited by Hoyaheel

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You can remove any wax remaining in the fabric by ironing it between clean white paper towels.  The heat will melt the wax and the paper towels will absorb the melted wax.

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1 hour ago, maddycat said:

You can remove any wax remaining in the fabric by ironing it between clean white paper towels.  The heat will melt the wax and the paper towels will absorb the melted wax.

Thanks --- what heat setting & steam?

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On 9/21/2019 at 8:24 PM, 57redbird said:

Thanks --- what heat setting & steam?

Sorry, I haven't been on for awhile.  Try a low heat setting with out steam.  If that doesn't work go to medium.  It's been years since I did any batik.

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I would do the iron that Maddycat suggested then do the cold saltwater soak that Hoyaheel suggested. I had batik years ago from St Kitts & this is what I did. 

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