How did you choose the batting you usually go to for your quilts? Trial and error? A friend’s suggestion? A quilt store owner or a quilt teacher?
What do you like best about the batting you use? There are so many choices now when it comes to batting. Loft, texture, what it’s made of, and how loose or tight the batting is. You can buy polyester batting, cotton batting, wool, bamboo, and even soy-blend. How do you know which batting to use? There is no “good” or “bad” batting. It all comes down to preference.
Yes, some batting might not have the preferable outcome that you want on a personal level. You may like low loft, but your friend doesn’t. You may like cotton batting, but she doesn’t. Who’s right? Neither of you! My firm suggestion to all of my customers and students is use what you are comfortable to work with, BUT don’t go cheap! I went cheap on one of my first hand-quilted projects and have regretted it ever since. It pilled, or bearded. “Pilling” is when the batting fibers come through the fabric of the quilt and look like little white fuzzies. I had used a low-loft polyester batting.
After that I began using cotton batting. I have used Warm and Natural batting for over fifteen years now. It’s just my preference.
Loft is basically what the word means – thickness. The higher the loft, the thicker your quilt will be. You’ll most likely find high loft in manufactured comforters since it is very difficult to machine quilt through high loft batting. It’s easier to tie a high loft quilt. You do not need a high loft batting for warmth! Wool and cotton tightly woven batting serves the same purpose.
Polyester batting – is not suggested for long-arm quilting. This type of batting often shifts, pulls, tears, and is very loosely woven. It can easily warp and become misshapen. But it works great for baby quilts since you can buy polyester batting in different lofts. Do not use in trivets, placemats, or potholders as polyester batting can melt. There are many different brands of polyester batting available. Again – don’t go cheap!
Cotton batting – is suggested for long-arm quilting. Cotton batting is tightly woven and stays in place when quilting. This type of batting doesn’t come in real high lofts as polyester does, but you can get different lofts from certain brands.
There’s organic batting, and some considered all-natural. Just remember – there’s no one “right” batting!