How to pick the right quilt batting (or wadding in the UK) can be a complicated process! We all want a quilt that will end up being soft, warm and suggily but what batting do you choose? We hope that this blog will help to answer your questions about batting and help you make the right choice for your project!
With the launch of our new Guide to Quilting class, we are bringing you a series of blogs to help guide you into the amazing world of quilting. We really hope that you find them useful! Don’t forget that you can drop us an email if you want us to cover something specific! We are here to help you with your sewing journey.
100% Cotton Quilt Batting
100% cotton batting is made from all-natural fibers and can match well if you are using cotton fabrics for your quilt top and quilt back. It can give a good drape in your quilt and can make the beautifully soft and comfortable.
Cotton batting is warm but not overly so, so is a great one for all seasons. It can be really good for baby & children’s quilts but it is versatile for all quilts. Bear in mind that cotton batting can be quite heavy so it may not be ideal in very large quilts. The quilting stitches themselves can be done quite sparsely. You can quilt 8-10” apart and you’ll get a softer feel to the quilt or you can also quilt densely and have a little more structured quilt.
100% Polyester Quilt Batting
If your budget is tight then Polyester quilt batting is definitely the one you need! It is cheaper and much fluffier than natural fibers but has the advantage of being lighter and warmer too. Other good things with polyester batting are that it is mold and mildew resistant as well as being hypoallergenic and fire retardant.
100% Wool Quilt Batting
If you are looking for another natural option then consider wool batting. It is lighter than cotton and has more loft and is known for its warmth. As it’s lighter it would be perfect for those very large projects. The extra loft will make your quilting stitches ‘pop’ more on your quilt.
The drape of wool batting is similar to that of cotton batting, and yet it has more volume which in turn gives more warmth.
The quilting stitches will be similar to that with cotton batting. If you want more structure while still having a reasonable drape then you can do quite dense quilting on it.
100% Bamboo Batting
Bamboo is relatively new to the market and is another beautiful natural fiber. It is a much thinner batting and therefore has an amazing drape. Bamboo batting is also incredibly soft but that also means your quilting stitches will blend more into the quilt. It is not known for its warmth but that also means it is perfect for summertime quilts.
Again this one would be perfect for baby quilts or children’s quilts as it is so soft and not overly warm.
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Mix Blend Batting
The great thing about mixed blend battings is that you get both benefits, depending on the mixture of batting. For example, if you picked an 80% cotton and 20% polyester wadding you will get a warmer and loftier quilt than if you chose the 100% cotton. There are SO MANY mixed blends out there, but if you know the qualities of the main ingredients it will help you understand what benefits the batting will bring to your quilt.
We are big fans of fusible batting but so far we have only ever used it for bag making. It can, of course, be used for quilts and if you have tried this yourself we would love to hear your opinion.
Fusible batting has glue dots on one side which are activated with heat, much like interfacing but fluffier! So, as part of your sandwiching of the quilt you would iron the batting to your quilt top (or back).
We think it would be great for smaller quilts and wall hangings and we definitely need to give it a try!
Insul Bright is a wadding commonly used for oven gloves and hot pads. It has a reflective layer inside the wadding which will basically reflect heat back to the surface.
It has a slightly crinkly feel and sound to it, so you definitely don’t want to use it on quilts, but it’s really handy for the right project.
How to pick the right quilt batting?
The right batting will really will depend on your project, things to think about are : –
- Will it need to be warm for a certain season?
- What will it be used for?
- What is the style of the quilt?
- How much quilting will be done?
- What will be the texture, drape, thickness, and how soft you want your quilt
- If you are new to quilting try not to worry too much about the choice. We would stick with 100% cotton or any cotton blend and you’ll be just fine. Anything with cotton will be a safe choice as it not too thick to work with and it gives a good amount of warmth and lovely texture. With more experience, we are sure that you will have your favourite batting, so it will be easier to pick the right quilt batting for each project.
What Quilt Batting To Buy
- There are a couple of different ways to pick the right quilt batting and the important thing to know is that it either comes as a precut size or can be cut from a roll. It is definitely easier to buy the right size for your quilt top, bearing in mind that you need an extra 4-6″ all the way around to allow for any shifting.
- Batting can also be bought from a roll but you may find that you need to sew your batting together to make it the correct overall size for your quilt.
We hope that this blog has helped make sense of all of those wadding & battings out there.
Need Help With Your Quilting?
We are so excited to have just launched our brand new Guide to Quilting class and you guys are loving it so far! So, if you have always wanted to make a quilt but not known how or where to start? If you are new to quilting there can be lots to learn and we are here to make sure it’s fun at every step!
This Guide To Quilting class is the perfect gentle introduction to anyone wanting to learn how to quilt and we promise the first time you make a quilt will not be your last!