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Choosing The Best Quilt Batting

What is the best quilt batting for your quilt?   Once the quilt top is finished, you need to choose the correct batting.  There are many factors to consider- Which batting drapes well, which has a hi loft, which has a low loft and which is the warmest.  There are different fibers, thicknesses, and other features such as allergens, fusibility and cost to name a few. 

Quilt batting is an insulated filler that adds bulk and warmth to your quilt.  The top layer is the fabric that is pieced, the bottom layer is your backing and the middle is where the batting or wadding is placed. Depending on how you want your finished quilt to look and feel, you will choose a specific batting. 

Types of Batting:

  • Bamboo – It is breathable, natural and soft. It is lightweight and cool and is naturally anti-bacterial.  It comes in various lofts which can be used for hand and machine quilting.  It also drapes well because it has slightly more stretch than cotton.  Check to see if it is 100% bamboo and not a rayon fiber processed to resemble bamboo.
  • Cotton – Cotton batting is a natural fiber and can often be found blended with other fibers such as polyester. It is very soft to the touch and it absorbs moisture to retain both cool and warm temperatures.  Cotton batting that is 100% does not drape as well and will shrink when washed.  It retains its shape and probably the best batting for baby quilts and wall hangings.
  • Polyester – Polyester is a synthetic batting that is available is a variety of sizes. It is soft and stretchy.  When it is combined with a natural fiber, the stretch is increased.  It is usually the cheapest because it is a synthetic.  It drapes nicely and will not shrink when washed.    Used primarily for decorative quilts because it drapes well. 
  • Silk – It is usually blended with bamboo, cotton or polyester. Silk is incredibly strong while remaining soft.  It is very easy to work with either by hand or machine quilting.  It drapes well and is probably one of the more expensive battings.
  • Wool – Wool is the warmest type of battling and probably the heaviest, but it quilts well by hand or machine. Wool batting can shrink as it is washed and should not be used for people with allergies.  If you want a warm quilt, this is the right choice.

Most importantly, read your labels and know some of the terms as loft, organic, scrim, bonded and bearding that are described on the label. Remember also to check the label for how far apart the quilting should be.  There are lots of things to consider when choosing the correct batting.  There are a multitude of options available, so make sure you choose the best quilt batting for the type of quilt you are making.  

 Enjoy the process

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