The Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Quilt Batting And Batting Types Update 05/2022

Congratulations! You’ve finished the top of your first quilt.
You’ll need to make a quilt “sandwich” at this point.
The top and bottom of the sandwich are made up of the pieced top and backing, with the batting in the middle.
Quilters made the central component of the quilt sandwich out of flannel or discarded blankets in the 1800s. This added weight to their quilts. In a moderate winter, their goal was to offer warmth in a house that stayed at 50°.
If our house is already warm, why do we need the batting?

What Is Quilt Batting?

If you go to your favorite fabric or craft store, you’ll almost certainly find a quilt batting department.
But what is the purpose of batting?
Because batting is the middle layer of your quilt “sandwich,” it not only keeps you warm, but it also gives your quilt top structure.
Quilt batting is also required for sewing the layers together for support. The batting layer offers support for the quilt sandwich, whether you hand tie the quilt with yarn or sew it with a machine.

How to Choose Quilt Batting

The look and feel of your quilt can alter depending on the type of batting you use. Different varieties of batting fiber provide various lofts or thicknesses.
The quilt will seem flat without the batting, the piecing stitches may come loose, and the two layers may separate when washed.
Every quilt deserves the greatest batting available. If you use the wrong type of batting, your quilt may end up looking vintage instead of modern.
On the other side, you might want it to look vintage, and even after multiple washes, it never does.
It could be too hefty or not heavy enough for the intended receiver. Also, using the wrong batting fabric might cause the quilt to puff up, obscuring the beautiful stitching on top.
How can you know which option is the greatest when there are so many? To narrow down your alternatives, ask yourself some questions before making a decision.

1. What type of quilt is this?

  • Quilt for baby
  • A bed quilt or an heirloom quilt
  • Lap quilt
  • Wall hanging/table runner

2. How do you plan on quilting the top and backing?

  • Hand-tied, conventional, or utility are all options.
  • Long arm sewing machine

3. Do you want it to look vintage after you wash it?

4. Do you want it to be heavy or light? Appear thin or puffy?

Another thing to think about is that if your quilt top has a lot of white backdrops, you should use white batting. The batting color can often shade the white background, giving it a gray or green appearance.
While quilting, the batting can also poke through, leaving little tufts of batting on the quilt’s surface.
Similarly, for a predominantly black background, choose black batting. A black background quilt should never have white batting.

Quilt Batting Sizes

We’ve put together a simple chart to assist you in selecting the appropriate packed batting size for your next quilt project. You may need to go up a size depending on your preferences and how much “drape” you want in your quilt.
To ensure you always have batting in the quilt sandwich — just in case the quilt top shifts while you’re quilting it — make sure your batting is at least 3″ larger all the way around the quilt top.

Types of Batting

After you’ve answered the fundamental questions, you’ll need to decide on batting kinds as well as the best fiber content and loft.
Wool, cotton, polyester, bamboo, silk, recycled bottles, and mixed fibers are all possible fibers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common fibers.

Common Batting Fibers

What are the various batting styles? You can choose from various different fibers. The different fiber kinds have varied care recommendations, loft, and feel. I’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Cotton:

Cotton fiber batting is a dense, low loft batting that is ideal for machine quilting and is made entirely of cotton.

Pros

  • Natural fiber softens over time, making it perfect for machine quilting.

Cons

  • In the first wash, the fabric shrinks by 3% to 5%.

Cotton Blend:

Cotton (80%) and polyester (the remaining 20%) are commonly used (20 percent ). The most popular batting material is cotton mix.

Pros

  • Another excellent machine quilting alternative is
  • 100% cotton is more expensive.
  • It’s a little lighter than 100% cotton.

Cons

  • The polyester strands may “beard,” causing a fuzzy texture in the quilt top and backing.
  • With time, it may flatten.

Polyester:

Polyester is a less expensive synthetic material than the others on this list. If you prefer to hand-quilt your quilts, this is a fantastic alternative.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Cotton is less warm.
  • Hand quilting is a breeze with this fabric.

Cons

  • Machine quilting may not be possible due to the loft.
  • It’s possible to get a beard.
  • Over time, it may lose its shape.

Wool:

Wool is a lovely alternative if you want a fluffy, cozy quilt. Wool is another 100% natural fiber batting. This batting option has a velvety high loft volume that allows you to show off some beautiful machine or hand quilting motifs.

Pros

  • Warm and cuddly, 100 percent natural
  • Hand quilting is a simple process.

Cons

  • Other solutions are more pricey.
  • Some persons may develop an allergic reaction.
  • It does get smaller. Check the label to check if it has been pre-shrunk.

Bamboo:

Bamboo batting is a lightweight, breathable solution made entirely of natural fibers (occasionally combined with silk or cotton). Bamboo batting has the remarkable property of not retaining mildew or becoming moldy when wet. It dries faster than other batting as well.

Pros

  • Mildew and mold resistance
  • Eco-friendly and natural
  • Lightweight and airy, it’s ideal for summer.

Cons

  • It costs a little more than other bats.
  • If you have chilly winters, it is not as warm as other solutions.

Fusible:

Fusible batting is exactly what it says on the tin. This means that the batting will have an adhesive on both sides so that instead of needing pins or other types of adhesive, you can fuse the layers of your quilt together with an iron for basting. Fusible batting is often made of 100% cotton or an 80/20 cotton/polyester combination.

Pros

  • It facilitates basting.
  • Not much more than routine batting practice.

Cons

  • Use can be difficult.
  • The adhesive isn’t particularly powerful.
We’ll go over the recommended fiber content for each sample below. The loft of the quilt refers to how thin or thick it should be.
If you make a poor choice here, the quilt’s overall appearance will be disappointing and frustrating.
Always add care instructions on the quilt label or on a recipe card that they can keep handy when giving a quilt as a gift.

Low Loft Quilt Batting

  • Allows needles to glide through layers with ease.
  • The stitches will be overlooked.
  • Table runners and wall hangings are both possible uses for this fabric.
  • The appearance will be flat.
  • Hand quilting is a breeze.
  • Quilting on a home sewing machine is a breeze with this fabric.

Mid Loft Quilt Batting

  • Whether done by machine or by hand, the emphasis is on the stitches.
  • Hand quilting is a breeze.
  • Quilting on a home machine or longarm is a breeze with this fabric.

High Loft Quilt Batting

  • Very thick and voluminous; adds warmth; emphasizes hand or machine stitches
  • Hand quilting isn’t suggested.
  • Quilting on a home machine or longarm is a breeze with this fabric.

We recommend the following batting companies:

Quilting Batting for Babies and Toddlers

You’ve decided to sew a warm and cuddly quilt for a new baby or a rambunctious toddler.
The majority of parents would agree that having flame resistant material around their child is a priority. A baby quilt can be made with flame retardant batting, 100% cotton batting, or wool.
Because some children are allergic to wool, make sure to check with the parent about allergies.
If you set fire to polyester batting, it will melt.
A youngster may become irritated by heavy batting.
Select a light-weight 100% cotton fabric. Hand quilting, tying, and machine quilting are all possibilities.

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