Wadding/batting has been used by quilters and sewers for centuries to create beautiful, warm blankets, bags, boxes and other projects that need depth and a super soft touch – such as children’s busy books.
There is a wide range of batting/wadding on the market, and the choice can seem overwhelming, here is our quick guide.
Natural fibre battings have to be sewn (quilted) to the top and bottom layers of fabric at regular intervals, to prevent the batting bunching and twisting over time. Polyester wadding’s structure is less prone to moving so you can get away with little or no quilting.
For a really clean and wrinkle free finish, you can buy fusible fleeces, which fuse to one or both sides of your project, eliminating quilting altogether – look out for our range of Vilene fusible fleeces, perfect for projects where you want a smooth, clean finish, without quilting, such as bags and boxes.
Remember – once quilted polyester batting will reduce in height, by between 0.5-1cm (1/4-1/2″), & the thicker the wadding is, the warmer it will be, possibly too warm, & the harder it is to sew through, particularly when using a sewing machine and sewing a large item.
Unlike polyester, cotton batting will move within the quilt, to get around this quilters sew (quilt) the top and bottom layers of fabric to the batting at regular intervals, the top stitching/quilting can be very beautiful and add interest, but it does take time. Most cotton batting manufacturers recommend quilting at least every 20-25cm (8-10 inches).
When washed standard cotton batting shrinks slightly giving quilts a vintage, crinkled, look, which may not suit you project (if that is the case & you want to use cotton batting, look out for shrunk/non-shrink varieties).
It is a premium product, which retains its height (loft). It should be quilted at intervals of no more than 5 inches (12cm).
Like cotton it shrinks when washed, giving projects a puckered/ vintage feel, making it less suitable for projects other than quilts ( if you plan to wash them).
The ultimate in luxury, silk batting gives you a light weight and airy result, you will need to quilt this product every 10-12cms (4-5″) and the finished product will need careful looking after, including hand washing and air drying.
It typically shrinks about 5 percent when washed.
Available as a 50/50 cotton/bamboo blend (we stock this one) or made from 100 percent bamboo fibre, bamboo batting is naturally anti-bacterial & is a lighter fibre than cotton.
Quilting lines can be 20-25cm (8-10”) apart, it is machine washable, breath-able and although it does still shrink, it is by less than some of the other types of batting available.
Bamboo is the most environmentally friendly option, it is fast growing, and a sustainable fibre that is relatively eco-friendly.
Vilene manufacture a number of fusible fleeces that can be used to add padding to your makes, H650 is fusible on both sides, making it perfect for quilting. Simply sandwich the batting between your quilt layers and press to fuse the layers together – and there is no need to quilt the top and bottom together, just add binding to the raw edges and you are done.
Up-cycle old and unloved blankets by using them as free batting!