One of the wonderful things about quilting is that hobbyists can choose from countless fabrics, styles, and designs. It does not matter what ideas you have, or if you do not even have anything specific in mind. Just combing through a quilt shop’s collection may be enough to inspire your next project.
We have noticed that many people seem to find inspiration in our Island Batik fabric selection. Many more visitors are likely curious but may have some questions. What is Island Batik? What does “batik” even mean? Besides looking great, what makes them worth checking out? We strive to answer all these and more questions here.
What are Batiks?
“Batik” is not just an intriguing brand name, and it is certainly not a made-up word. The term refers to a cultural tradition spanning at least a thousand years. UNESCO included the practice on the Representative List of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and with good reason.
Batik is an Indonesian dye technique focused on the precise application of wax on specific parts of a garment. It can cover whole swaths or a few carefully chosen spots. The naturally resistant wax keeps the dye from penetrating those areas, but it easily comes off in boiling water. People can take advantage of these properties to create brilliant designs with complex color schemes.
Garments fashioned with this practice are used in many aspects of Indonesian culture. Batik blankets swath babies and shroud the dead. Batik clothing options are available for both business wear and more casual outfits. While there are ceremonial and spiritual applications, there are plenty of everyday ones. For that reason, using batik fabrics for your quilt work could be considered a harmless form of cultural appropriation.
The Benefits of Batik Fabric
Batik fabrics would not be so widespread if they came without any benefits. A major one is obvious at just a glance. Products made through this process develop a distinct appearance, instantly recognizable to those who know. Skilled artisans know how to put the wax in precise places, allowing them to realize visually impressive designs. One look at a collection of Hoffman batik quilting fabrics, for example, offers all the proof you need.
Quite a few parks have to do with the minimal need for maintenance. It is rather easy to clean, for starters. Unlike certain materials, you can chuck it into a washing machine and rest assured that it will look fine afterward. After all, the batik process means every fabric is extensively pre-washed. You also do not even need to iron it, as batik fabric is supposed to look creased and wrinkled.
When it comes to quilting specifically, you may find that batiks are more tightly woven than other kinds of fabric. The high thread count means that cut pieces do not stretch much and the material itself feels smooth. It is especially great for those who enjoy applique projects.
What is Island Batik?
Top quilting fabric brands like Hoffman and Robert Kaufman recognize the benefits of these fabrics. With that said, Island Batik is a business solely dedicated to providing customers with high-quality batiks. So named for the islands that gave the world batiks in the first place, it imports authentic creations from Indonesia. Buying its wares gets you close to the “real thing” without having to go all the way there.
Island Batik has over 25 years of experience in the industry. In that quarter-century, the company gained a reputation for offering exceptional products with stunning designs. It may not be as big as Hoffman or Kaufman, but the people there know their stuff. More specifically, they know the artisans who know their stuff best, and they are wise to go straight to the source.
Island Batik’s fabrics come in a few different materials. There is cotton, and there is also “hand-printed cotton” — the one that truly has the human touch. Rayon is also available, and though it is different, the artificial composition offers the same great quality.
A Few Great Examples
We can talk all day about how lovely Island Batik’s quilting fabrics look, but it would be better to show you. Though it was difficult, we sifted through our store’s enormous assortment of products and selected the designs we find the most impressive. Hopefully, they give you an idea of what makes the company so great.
Mesa Verde — Sun Toast
The solar swirls and curling arms of the Mesa Verde Sun Toast design seem borrowed from or inspired by motifs in ancient artwork. Brown tones can seem stuffy or unpleasant in many styles, but here they come off as warm. This hand-dye work shows that even a simple version of the batik technique can create something rich and intriguing.
Sundance Batik — Tossed Feather Light Dust
For an example of more complex dye work and more intricate illustration, look no further than Sundance Batik Tossed Feather Light Dust. The combination of hues evokes rainforests, which may reflect that about 15% of the world’s plants are rooted somewhere in Indonesia. The island chain’s remarkable biodiversity is also reflected in the variety of colors on this design.
Plum Pudding — Bear Tree Sky
Grizzlies and pines may be clichéd for quilts, but rendering them through the batik process may breathe new life into these motifs. Case in point: Plum Pudding Bear Tree Sky, with silhouetted beasts striding on all fours amid a barren forest. The color scheme suggests the dead of winter, but there is something peaceful — even if the crescent moons seem strange.
Explore Our Island Batik Collection Today
The three designs described above are only a small sample of the impressive Island Batik collection available at Hingeley Road Quilt Shop. Anyone interested in learning the value of high-quality batik fabrics is something they love in our selection of over 120 designs. Feel free to check out the batik products we have to offer from other brands. Place your order with us today so you can find inspiration for your next quilting project right away.