Thursday, September 12, 2013

How to and Tips--Select the Right Quilt Batting for your Quilt Project

Making a choice of what type of batting for your quilt project can be very confusing.  Here's a list of quilt battings and some of their qualities that might help you make that all-important decision.

Types of Batting

Cotton batting - 100% cotton batting is usually 1/8" thick.  It is soft and pliable and usually a #1 pick by quilters.  They typical shrinkage on this natural fiber is 3-5%.  Quilters who are seeking an "archival quality quilt" prefer this along with Wool and Bamboo batting for the natural fibers.
Cotton/Poly Blends are almost always a blend of 80% cotton and 20% polyester. This batting shrinks less when it has it's initial wash.  Many long-arm quilters prefer this batting as it is easy to work with and durable.
Polyester batting is known for it's durability and holding it's shape.  Polyester batting is often preferred for baby and children's quilts because it will endure multiple washings; is warm and light weight; and resists mold and mildew. Polyester batting comes in 1" (10 oz), 3/4" (8 oz), 1/2" (6 oz) and 3/8" (4 oz) thicknesses.  This batting can be used for hand or machine quilting.
Bamboo batting is made from 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton blend.  Like cotton it does have a 2-3% shrinkage when washed and often used for machine quilting.
Wool batting  is also lightweight and often preferred when warmth is the goal.  It is 1/2" thick, resists creasing,  and holds it's shape well.  Wool batting can be used for hand or machine quilting.
Additional Batting Types
Bonded batting is made with a light adhesive on both sides to hold fibers together to prevent shifting or bearding
Fusible batting has a fusible web so you can baste layers together. 
Needle Punch batting is made by punching fibers together with felting needles and is used typically for apparel and blankets.  It is known for its density and durability.