Cotton batiste is lightweight, sheer, and delicate fabric. The term batiste is a French word that refers to a fine quality cloth. This type of fabric is similar to cotton lawn, but it is thicker. Its appearance is often described as unassuming, yet elegant. The material has a graceful drape and is a fairly easy sheer fabric for beginners to work with, but it can catch on a sewing machine's foot.
This fabric is comfortable and versatile, appropriate for both a day at the office and an evening by the lake. It's commonly used to make women's lingerie, dressy blouses, and handkerchiefs. Since it is a lightweight fabric, cotton batiste can be used as an underlining for dresses and nightgowns as well.
To accommodate sensitive skin, items made as gifts for a newborn baby are frequently made with this material. It can be used for receiving blankets, wraps, onesies, Christening gowns, and other items.
People interested in heirloom sewing will find that batiste is well suited to such projects, with 100% Swiss cotton batiste as the preferred fabric type for this sewing specialty. Batiste blends made with polyester generally do not lay as flat.
Cotton batiste is easily found in white, black, and ivory at most craft and fabric stores, as well as from a number of online retailers. Specialty colors such as pastel pink, lemon yellow, baby blue, or seafoam green may be available in some locations. If a sewer can't find the right color for a project, however, she can easily dye the fabric to fit her needs. Additionally, some fabric may be mercerized to add luster and a light sheen to the finish.
An item made from this fabric should be machine washed in a gentle or delicate cycle. The person caring for the garment should avoid using bleach on it. It can be tumbled dry on a low setting. If necessary, a person may press the fabric on the cotton setting with steam, and spray starch can be used to keep the fabric crisp, if desired.