Monday, March 29, 2010

How to Tell Batiks and Non-Batiks Apart

I'm in a charm swap group - we send in 25 charms of one fabric, and get back 25 different ones. Each month there's a theme; the theme for January was "batiks." I was a bit disappointed when I got my envelope this time - 13, meaning over half, of the charms were NOT true batiks.

A true batik is the same, or very nearly the same on one side as it is on the other. You really can't tell which is the "right" side. True batiks are made using a wax-resist dying technique. A wanna-be batik has a design on one side, and is faded out on the other.

Below are four of the charms I received. They all look like batiks on this side, though an experienced eye can already tell that the two on the right are just a swirled design. (Ignore the feet that crept their way into the photos!)

In the photo below, I've flipped them over - you can see the two on the left still look the same; the two on the right have the faded back side.

Why is this a big deal? When you're using batiks, you can piece much quicker when you know you don't have to worry about a "right" side. Both sides are "right" sides. This is especially significant for paper piecing.


Dee said...

I like the look of batiks for certain blocks and quilts and the ease of just slapping them together! LOL

Thanks for the lesson and sorry your package didn't have the real McCoy's in there!

Barb's Blurbs said...

Thanks for this info! I wondered about the 'fake' batiks but had never thought about how to tell them apart. I think there is usually a difference in the hand of the fabric, also.


MysteryKnitter said...

I hope you can use the fake ones to something too. You have needlework skills, so I've no doubt you'll find a way to use them.