About Batiste Fabric

Batiste is a "plain weave" fabric similar to Percale, that is very light in weight, very soft and smooth to the hand with a "crisp" feel. Plain weave fabrics make an especially good down proof fabric.


The Batiste weave was created in the 13th century and was originally woven with the Flax (linen) fiber. Today, Batiste is typically woven with Cotton or modern plant derived fibers such as Tencel® and is especially suitable for use in down comforters, where softness, strength and light weight are desirable attributes.


Downproof Batiste fabric, used for down comforters and pillows and specially woven to prevent the down from leaking out of the fabric, can sometimes have a noticeable "crinkly" or rustling sound, that may lessen over time with use, or perhaps as you become accustomed to this characteristic.  We talk about this more, below.


illustraion of a plain weave


Like the plain weave Percale, the Batiste weave is strong and durable. A fine downproof Batiste fabric, such as the fabric used our Cascade Made™ 800 Batiste Down Comforter is densely woven with very fine threads and is very similar to the finest lightweight Percale fabrics, such as the Sferra Giza 45 Percale.


The characteristics of the Batiste weave; lightness, softness, smoothness, strength and durability, when combined with the attributes of Tencel®, (softer than silk, cooler than linen, and naturally anti-microbial) results in a downproof fabric that is without equal for lightness, strength and softness.


The Batiste "Crunch"


The sound that some people notice with Batiste, often characterized as "crinkly" or "crunchy", is an inherent part of modern down proof batiste fabrics.


Some batiste weaves are noisier than others, but it is always there. It may diminish a bit with time, but if it is a quality fabric it will likely always have some crinkle to it.


Many other modern fine quality down proof fabrics, sateens, cambrics, etc. all seem to experience this crinkly noise to some degree. State of the art finishing techniques, including calendering, to help assure a down proof fabric seem to be the reason.


Conversely, cheaper fabrics that are starched to achieve a (temporary) down proof finish also exhibit this crunchy attribute. These fabrics will become much quieter, and start leaking down over time.


If your comforter's care instructions specify "Dry Clean Only” this may be an indication that the comforter has been starched instead of calendered. The best quality down proof fabrics are machine washable, and are not starched.


A little story - our first eiderdown comforter had a batiste fabric. One of the very finest down proof batiste fabrics in the world, and a comforter that cost many thousands of dollars.


The first night I got into bed with it and laid my arms across the top of the comforter, the crinkly crunches were so unexpected as my arms settled into the comforter that I was actually startled.


As time passed, I realized that the interactions I had with the comforter that caused the noise were actually a very small part of my overall experience with the comforter. Once my arms settled, there was no more noise, except a little crinkle if I moved to turn the page of a book (this was back when I still read paper books. :)


Once settled under the comforter we experienced little to no untoward crunches, just delight. I’m not sure if the crinkly noise diminished with time, or if I simply became accustomed to it.


For me, the lightness and softness of the fabric, and the way it allowed the comforter for flow and float around us far outweighed my initial concern caused by the unexpected sound of the fabric.



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