How to Take Care of Batik: The Perfect Guide for Preserving Your Beautiful Fabric

Batik is a beautiful type of fabric that is known for its intricate designs and vibrant colors. It’s no wonder why so many people love to wear batik clothing! However, taking care of batik can be a bit tricky.

Several ways to take care of batik include using gentle detergents and cold water, sun-drying the fabrics, etc.

This blog post will discuss the best ways to preserve your batik fabric so it stays beautiful for years!

Special Care for Your Batik

batik shirt
Batik shirt. Credit: canva

Batik clothing

Indonesia is a country where people have been wearing clothes made from batik for centuries. Traditional garments are durable. They come in pants and skirts to match your plans! You can wear the batik apparel for formal occasions or on a regular day.

Like any other fabric, Batik cloth is durable and can be worn long-term if cared for correctly.

To maintain their color resistance, Batiks need to see how you should care for batiks so that they remain as vibrant as time passes by before being washed or dry cleaned.

Why do you need special care for your batik?

Batik cloth is a lot like any other fabric. However, the way it’s made and the ingredients used to make it make each pattern unique.

Because of its natural color techniques, the colors used in batik can sometimes be challenging to set. That’s why it’s essential to take extra care when washing and drying your batik fabric.

Especially for fine batik, you should only wash batik cloth if necessary, with care for preserving their beauty.

How to Take Care of Batik

batik art painting
Fine hand-written batik. Credit: canva

How to avoid bleeding batik

How to wash batik for the first time

To avoid bleeding batik, you should soak your fabric in cold water for 30 minutes before washing it. This will help set the colors and prevent them from running. You can also add a cup of vinegar to the soaking water to help preserve the colors.

When ready to wash your batik fabric, use mild detergent and lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as this can cause the colors to run.

How to stop batik fabric from bleeding

To stop bleeding, you can soak it in vinegar. You can also try adding a cup of salt to the soaking water.

Another alternative is to use Retayne. Retayne is a color fixative that helps preserve the original colors of your fabric. Add a cup of Retayne to the washing machine when you wash your batik.

Washing batik fabric

wash batik
An Indonesian girl, hand wash batik fabric. Credit: canva

Use gentle detergents

Batik is a delicate cloth with a smooth surface that must be handled carefully. Soak the fabric in cold water before washing it using mild detergents like gentle soap or dishwashing liquid.

When washing, you may also not use chlorine bleach, strong detergents, or brighteners.

Special treatment for fine handmade batik

Fine batik (mostly expensive hand-written batik) in Indonesia is washed with the leak fruit, which can be purchased at most traditional markets. Lerak is a small, brown fruit with soft white flesh. The lerak is crushed, and the water is used as special soap to wash the batik.

This method is said to make the colors on the batik brighter and prevent them from running. A bottled version of this detergent is also available at batik stores.

Do not wash with other clothes

When washing batik, it is essential not to mix the cloth with other clothing. To avoid color fading and keep your favorite clothes looking fresh for longer than usual, you need a particular container specifically designed just for this purpose!

Separate the darker-colored pieces from lighter-colored ones.

Make sure you put all your colored fabric in the water so it doesn’t get ruined. This will happen if you mix up the colors.

No washing machine

Hand washing is the best option for avoiding these hazards. Washing batik cloth by hand can help protect the fabric’s color from fading quickly.

It is doable if you want to machine wash your batik. However, you should use a gentle cycle and a mild detergent to avoid damaging the fabric.

Do not squeeze before drying

wash batik
Finished washing and ready to air-dry the fabric. Credit: canva

When drying the batik, it is essential to hang the cloth on a clothesline after it has been rinsed. This will help maintain the quality and make the fabric last longer.

Batiks are made of fabric that can be damaged if folded. If you want to dry your batik, shake it, so the fabric doesn’t fold together. Please do not squeeze the batik cloth when it is dry.

No drying in the sun

Does sun-drying fade clothes?

It is not recommended to dry batik clothes in direct sunlight. As you know, drying clothes in the sun will impact the color fading of the fabric or cloth.

How to dry your batik?

To take care of batik cloth so it does not fade, let the batik dry in a shady place and then dry it by spreading it out. This is an excellent way to keep the batik colors from fading.

No direct ironing

Does ironing fade clothes?

Ironing can also make the colors on batik fade. That is because the heat from the iron can cause the colors to bleed.

How to iron your batik?

To keep your batik looking its best, it’s best to iron it inside out on the lowest to warm iron setting.

It would be best if you did not iron batik cloth directly. But if you want to, make sure you use paper or a piece of fabric that will not rip the batik fabric.

You can also use a fabric softener to remove wrinkles from the batik.

Don’t use perfume

Avoid using perfume when wearing batik cloth. This is because fragrance contains alcohol which can damage the fiber and color of batik, especially batik made from silk and natural dyes.

How do you store batik?

If the cloth is not used, store it in a plastic bag. It will not be eaten by moths that way. In addition, avoid using mothballs around the closet when keeping batik cloth since camphor can damage the fabric.

Store your batik in the cupboard or somewhere else safe, like high up on a shelf. Wrap some pepper around it to keep moths away. Vetiver also helps, but you must dry it first and store it in the cupboard with your batik.

How to Prevent Batik Shrinkage

There are a few things that you can do to prevent your batik fabric from shrinking.

Pre-wash batik fabric 

prewash batik
Pre-wash batik fabric by soaking it in lukewarm water and mild detergent. Credit: canva

To prevent your batik from shrinking, prewash it before using it. This will remove any excess batik dye and make the fabric softer.

Use lukewarm water and a mild detergent when washing batik for the first time. Do not soak the fabric in water for too long, or the colors will run. Then cold rinse to remove excess dry from the material.

It’s worth the time to prewash and pre-shrink your fabric before sewing to avoid mishaps of the finished quilt or other batik projects.

Once you have prewashed your fabric, you can dry it in a low heat setting or air dry it.

Wash in cold water

One technique to preserve your batik cloth is to wash it in cold water. This will help the colors set and prevent the fabric from shrinking.

Dry in a low heat setting

Another option is to dry your batik fabric in a low-temperature setting. You may also air-dry your batik cloth if you don’t wish to risk shrinking it.

Reactive Dyes

Batik shrinks as a result of natural processes such as oxidation and washing. One alternative is to use reactive dyes, which react with the fabric after exposure to water or sunlight.

Even after applying reactive dyes, it shrinks slightly due to biological processes in dyeing. The reactive dye used by batik manufacturers is not 100% effective in preventing shrinkage.

So other methods should also be employed, including water-soluble dyes and baking soda, to reduce shrinking risks.


Do batik fabrics shrink?

Batik textiles do shrink somewhat, owing to their natural origins. To avoid this, wash your batik cloth before using it.

Can you put batik fabric in the dryer?

Yes, you may tumble batik fabric in the machine dryer. However, use a low heat setting to prevent damage to the cloth.

Are batiks colorfast?

Not all batiks are colorfast. When choosing batik fabric for a project, select one that has been prewashed and is guaranteed to be colorfast.

Does batik soften when washed?

Yes, batik fabric usually softens when washed. Try using a fabric softener if your batik cloth is still stiff after washing.

We hope you found this guide on how to take care of batik helpful. Proper care of your batik cloth will help preserve its beauty for years.

Does sun drying fade clothes?

Yes, the sun can fade clothes. UV radiation from the sun can break down the dyes in your clothes and cause them to fade over time. That’s why it’s important to protect your clothes from the sun by folding them or hanging them up in the shade.

How to fade bright clothes

So, you want to know how to fade bright clothes? Well, there are a few things you can do.

  1. First, if you’re washing your bright clothes in the machine, wash them on the delicate cycle with cold water. This will help prevent the colors from fading.
  2. Second, try soaking your bright clothes in vinegar for about 30 minutes before washing them. This will help set the colors and keep them from fading as quickly.
  3. Third, hang your bright clothes in the shade to dry instead of in direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause colors to fade, so hanging your clothing in the shade will help preserve their brightness.
  4. Finally, keep your bright clothes out of direct sunlight when storing them. Sunlight can cause colors to fade over time, so storing your clothes in a dark, cool place will help them keep their brightness.
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