What Is Batiste Fabric? (Characteristics, Uses, Care, Buy)

There are so many fabrics that it is hard to keep up with them all. Then each one may have a different purpose making it all the more difficult to keep them straight. You need a scorecard to consult to find the perfect fabric to use on your next sewing project.

What is batiste fabric? Batiste fabric is a plain weave fabric that is semi-sheer and very lightweight. It is the softest of the opaque fabrics and is often used in making lightweight garments, bedding and lingerie. Mercerized cotton is the common fiber used to create this material.

To learn more about batiste fabric just continue to read our article. it has the information you need to know in order to use this material correctly and for the right sewing projects. Take a few minutes to get learn all about this nice fabric.

What Kind of Fabric is Batiste?


The texture of this material is like cotton lawn but only thicker. Then it may be an elegant fabric yet it is an unassuming elegance that adds to the character of this material while making it ideal for many clothing items.

Even though it is a sheer material and can catch on the sewing foot from time to time, it is a fairly easy material for beginners to get their feet wet when they want to work with sheer fabrics.

On top of that this material is at home in office outfits as well as being at home with those clothes that provide you with a nice time while visiting the lake. Its versatility is not limited to these two functions.

You can use batiste fabrics for a variety of different purposes including lingerie, very classy and dressy blouses as well as dainty handkerchiefs. With that type of versatility, you can dream up some great projects for you and your family.

The name of the fabric was given to honor Jean Batiste the famous French weaver.

What is Cotton Batiste Fabric?

This variation of batiste fabric is best for underwear and intimate wear. It is a soft material that is easy to work with and quite lightweight. Also, it is a good fabric to use when making something for people or babies with sensitive skin.

It lies flatter when made from 100% cotton than it would if the cotton fibers were blended with polyester. That makes it ideal to make christening clothes, blankets, onesies, and other garments.

Then when the cotton fibers are mercerized the material takes on a nice sheen that looks good no matter what clothing or bedding item it is made into. Because this material is made from cotton fibers, it allows your body to breathe well and avoid overheating.

The fabric will help keep you cool and let you remain comfortable as the temperatures of the day rise. This is a good aspect when you want to remain cool at night and you do not have an air conditioner to keep the room temperature at comfortable levels.

That type of bedding is perfect for very humid regions of the country as it allows your body to release its heat with ease.

How is Batiste Fabric Made?

This is a very simple process as when it is made from cotton, the early steps from the cotton plant to the carding stage are the same as it is for other cotton fabrics. The only difference in that early process is that the manufacturers do not use carding at all when making this material.

The yarn set aside to make this material is combed first, then it is sent to the weaving stage. The weave is a simple plain method that does not provide any special characteristics to the fabric. There are occasions where linen fibers are added to the cotton yarn but usually, cotton yarn is the preferred choice of materials.

After the cotton fibers are woven in the plain weave style the fabric is then bleached to whiten it or it is left unbleached to give the material a more natural look. There are forms of batiste fabric that are made from both synthetic and semi-synthetic fibers.

This is to lower the cost of the material and when lyocell is used, to make it softer than cotton or linen fibers would be. Once the material is ready it is shipped out to the stores or it can be dyed to meet the color demand.

What is Batiste Fabric Used for?


Batiste is a very versatile fabric and comes with a variety of uses or applications that make it a popular material to use. Its lightweight makes it perfect for hot weather clothing and bedding as does its breathability factor.

However, that breathing ability may be a bit limited when synthetic or semi-synthetic fibers are used. Then one major use for this material will be handkerchiefs and those little items certainly come in handy at any time of the year.

Next, you will find lingerie as a popular application. Its lightweight, soft feel makes this material ideal for those looking for comfort without adding bulk or weight to their daily attire.

But that is not all this fabric can be used for. bedding is another option and because this material breathes well and is lightweight, you won’t be overwhelmed by either heat or too much weight. You should be able to toss and turn as you need.

Then the lack of weight should enable you to stop worrying about how hot you will get and let you sleep with a better frame of mind.

Other Batiste Fabric Uses

The previous section doesn't list all the applications or uses for batiste fabric. The lightweight nature allows it to be used in more places than you would think an almost sheer fabric could be used.

One example is nightwear. Not just lingerie but robes, pajamas, dressing gowns, and other common nightwear items can be made from this fabric. Its drape is excellent and doesn't interfere with your movements.

In addition to that clothing option, you can use this material to make summer clothes. Its soft feel is nice for those hot summer evenings where you want to remain cooler as well as look your best.

Sundresses, blouses, and even skirts are ideal sewing projects for this material. You get a comfortable clothing item as well as a nice fabric that complements your figure. There are lots of options for women’s clothing while not so many for men.

However, men are not left out of the advantages this fabric has. It can be used as lining in men’s coats or suit jackets. This material will help your man stay cooler when their suits are lined with this material

Both of you can have a silk-like feel to your clothing without the expense of buying silk when you use batiste materials for your clothing and fashion accessories.

Batiste Fabric Characteristics

The characteristics of batiste material are quite a few. You already know about its ability to breathe well and keep you cooler than you would be if you wore heavier natural materials. That is always a plus when it comes to the hotter seasons of the year.

Also, it has a medium level of moisture-wicking to help you stay a little bit drier during those same seasons. The material will stretch somewhat and it is also given a medium-level label when it comes to stretch.

You should still be able to move freely without worrying about rips and tears. But do not try to stretch too far as the material does not stretch as much as elastane does. Since the material breathes well, the heat retention factor is very low.

That makes this material better for summer or hot Spring days, etc. than for the cooler days of the Fall and Winter seasons. As for pilling, how much you see during laundry day will depend on the type of fibers used to create this material.

Finally, the thread count is usually found in the 150 to 350 range making it a nice soft material that should be comfortable as well as durable.

Does Batiste Fabric Wrinkle?


It is possible but more so when made from 100% cotton or linen than when made from synthetic fibers or a blend of natural and synthetic fibers. There is one step you should take when the fabric is made from cotton.

You should remove the material right away from the dryer when that appliance stops. If not wrinkles may set in quicker than you may realize. There is another way to avoid wrinkles when having 100% natural fibers in your batiste fabrics.

Do not let the material dry completely but iron it while it is still damp. When the material is made with a blend of 100% synthetic fibers, wrinkling may not be an issue. Your results may differ but that is the ideal when those synthetic fibers are used.

One thing you should know is that you may initially hear a crinkling sound when the batiste bedding is new. That is normal and the material will soften over time. This softening takes place after frequent washing and use. Your body oils should contribute to the softening of the fabric so you won’t hear that sound for too long.

What does Batiste Fabric Look Like?

Batiste material looks like a very soft, plain weave fabric that has an opaque texture and thickness to it. While it is lightweight it is not really sheer or see-through material. That is because there is no acid wash used on this style of fabric.

The acid wash will turn many opaque materials transparent, like organdy or voiles, but since it is omitted from the process, batiste remains opaque and modest. If the material is given a satin weave then you will find the look to be on the shiny side of the spectrum.

Also, it is a very delicate fabric so its look will reflect that aspect of the material. It needs to be handled with care so that your washer and dryer do not ruin it. Even without the satin weave, the fabric can still have a nice soft sheen to its look.

A lot depends on the fibers used and the weave style as to how the fabric will look when it is ready for sewing. The drape that comes with this material should add an elegant look no matter how it is applied. But it all depends on how the manufacturer processes the fibers and which fibers they use.

Batiste Fabric vs Cotton Difference

The differences you may see or feel with different types of batiste materials and when comparing it to cotton will depend on the weave style as well as the fibers used to create that particular batiste version.

When compared to regular cotton, the cotton version of this material can be quite silky and soft whereas regular cotton will not have the same feel to it. Plus the drape may be a bit different with the batiste material having the better drape.

Other differences would come in when this fabric is made with synthetic or a blend of synthetic fibers. The feel may not be as silky but more artificial than natural cotton would feel. But this version of batiste may resist wrinkling, pilling, and shrinking.

When made from synthetics the fabric may be more durable than cotton is but you may have to watch your handling of the material when it comes to laundry time. It will depend on how the material is made as while it is still cotton, the processing may be different from some cotton materials.

That processing will create differences like making batiste lighter in weight than regular cotton is.

Batiste Fabric Care


If you do not want to ruin the material or harm the polyester fibers blended in, then the best water temperature to use would be cold. You could use cool water as well but do not go any warmer than that.

The difficult part comes in when you have to give this material your undivided attention. When using your washer and dryer, make sure to use the delicate or gentle cycles on your appliances. Also, don't heat your iron if wrinkles do appear. Cool iron is best.

You can hand wash this fabric and that may be preferred over machine washed. Or take the material to the dry cleaners and let them use their undivided attention cleaning your garments.

Hang drying may be the best option over machine drying but one thing is for sure, you need to treat this fabric as a child. It is delicate, sensitive, and can ruin easily if you are not careful.

If you do all this and follow the care instructions on the included labels then your batiste clothing and other items should last you for years. Handle with care are three good words to use as a guide.

How to Clean Batiste Fabric

The best way to get this done and without taking up a lot of your time would be to take those clothing items to the dry cleaners. This may be the obvious and simple solution to a difficult problem but you spent a lot of money on the clothing made from this material and you do need to care for it properly.

If you do, then you have saved money in the long run as these clothing items will last and you can spend your money on other needed items. The second best way to clean your batiste fabrics is to hand wash them.

This will occupy a lot more of your time but it is the second-best way to clean these clothing items. Right after dry cleaning. Because batiste is a delicate fabric and needs your undivided attention, hand washing will make sure the fabric is given the right treatment without you being distracted by others things going on in your house.

Hang drying or laying the clothing items flat on a towel would probably be the best way to dry them. That way they avoid any friction and can dry without being harmed. Finally, the third-best way to clean your batiste fabrics would be your appliances.

As long as you keep a watchful eye on what is happening, and keep those appliances set to delicate and gentle then your time will not be occupied as much but you still have to keep your full attention on the clothing and not delay in removing them from the washer or the dryer.

Or you can wash on gentle then hang dry if you want. Keep your iron on cool so as not to burn or ruin the material before you get to wear it again.

Batiste Fabric for Sewing

You are going to find that batiste may be one of the better lightweight fabrics to sew with. It should be easier to handle than the sheer options and you have a little weight to work with as you manipulate the fabric through your sewing machine.

The next good thing about this material is that it comes in a wide variety of designs and colors. You should be able to find something that appeals to you and turn it into a nice gown or casual wear.

With a wide variety of applications and the fabric being very versatile, your creative nature should be able to turn this fabric into something more than just a handkerchief or some other smaller project.

The material comes in different widths so that you have sewing options. When you need 60 inches, this fabric will be there. When you only need a 45-inch width, this fabric has you covered. Your width selection will help you design the right clothing, etc., that will make you the belle of the ball.

It is up to you to find the right material, color, and design of this batiste fabric, and keep in mind that if there are synthetic fibers involved, you may not be able to dye it very well.

Where to buy Batiste Fabric by the Yard


Batiste is made from common fibers like cotton, linen, polyester, and so on. That means that you should be able to find this fabric in just about any fabric store you visit (if they have it in stock).

As usual, the first place you should look should be your locally owned fabric stores. Their prices and selection may be different from the bigger stores, but you may get the best service possible.

After that, you can try the mall department stores as well as all the big box stores. Again their selection may not be as desired but there may be a larger one than at your local small fabric outlets.

Next up, there are Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and JoAnn’s as well as Hancocks, and what selection they have may vary from store to store. You can always check to see what the minimum order would be for them to order in what you want or if that is even possible anymore.

The best selection you will get will be at your next stop, the online outlets. In the quick search we did we had a host of stores pop up in the results and they seem to have a wide selection available at reasonable prices. With the advent of the internet, your choices for fabrics by the yard went up greatly.

Some Final Words

Batiste fabric is a nice material that will complement your figure when you wear the right outfit. Whether it is out for an evening on the town or just lounging around your bedroom, this fabric has you covered and makes you look great.

All you have to do is be gentle with it and treat it like it is your youngest child. Then it will last you a long time.

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