batting for a quilt

Batting for a Quilt: How to Choose the Right One?

Have you ever struggled to decide which batting is best for your quilt? This article will go over how to choose batting for a quilt as well as the various batting options.

Wadding, also known as batting for the quilt, is used in many sewing and quilting projects. It is most frequently used in quilt-making as a layer of insulation between fabrics. Batting is the material that gives quilts their weight and warmth. It is typically made of cotton, polyester, or wool, though recently bamboo fibers have also been used by manufacturers.

It can be extremely confusing, though, to select the best one for your project. The list of problems is endless: there are disputes over fiber content and loft, the relative merits of cotton and polyester, and the sheer variety of brands.

Fortunately, we describe the various battings for quilts, and these hints give you the knowledge you need to master the batting aisle.

Types of Batting

batting for a quilt
  • Due to its soft texture and comfort, cotton batting is favored because it is made from natural fibers. 100% cotton batting is usually 1/8″ thick.
  • Unlike other fibers, polyester batting maintains its shape and thickness. Cribs and bedding should be made of polyester. While lighter and thicker than wool, polyester keeps you warm. Though it is impermeable, it doesn’t rot or mildew. Polyester batting thicknesses are 10 oz is 1″ thick, 6 oz is 1/2″, 8 oz is 3/4″, and 4 oz is 3/8″.
  • Wool batting is used because it is warm and very light. A lofty and natural option is wool batting. Wool batting is ½” thick and resistant to creases. It retains its shape and bounces back. It works well for both hand and machine quilting and can be tied.
  • 20% polyester and 80% cotton are typically used in cotton/poly blends. It has the advantages of cotton with added loft.
  • Bamboo batting is created from a blend of 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton. For machine quilting, bamboo batting is excellent because it is very breathable. It can be machine washed and will shrink by 2-3%. Bamboo is processed into opulent fiber using waste-free, non-polluting techniques.
  • In order to keep the fibers together, bonded batting has a thin adhesive on both sides. In order to prevent shifting or bearding, this is helpful. When batting fibers pierce a fabric, this is known as bearding.
  • A fusible web is present in fusible batting, allowing you to baste layers together. Layer the quilt top, batting, and quilt backing together when using fusible batting. Press each area for 3–4 seconds using the wool setting on your iron as you work your way out from the center. When finished, let the quilt cool before moving on to the other side.
  • By repeatedly punching them with needles, needle punch batting is mechanically felted together. It’s denser and firmer as a result. For strong clothing, blankets, and quilt backing, needle punch batting is used.

8 Helpful Tips for Choosing the Right Batting for a Quilt

There are many factors to take into account when selecting batting, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Make a decision about how you want your quilt to feel and look, do your research, and you’ll have a lovely project.

Here are what you should consider when choosing the right batting for your quilt:

Decide What Size to Buy

batting for a quilt

You can purchase batting off the bolt in your own custom size, but it is typically prepackaged for standard crib, twin, full, queen, and king-size quilts. In order to use this option, you must either have it cut to your specific measurements at the store or at home.

Off-the-bolt can ultimately be more cost-effective (and convenient) if you quilt a lot, even though it requires an additional step.

Standard Batting Sizes:

  • Craft: 36″ x 45″
  • Full: 81″ x 96″
  • Crib: 45″ x 60″
  • Queen: 90″ x 108″
  • Twin: 72″ x 90″
  • King: 120″ x 120″

Look at Fiber Content

Wool, silk, bamboo, or a poly-cotton blend are all acceptable materials for batting for the quilt, though cotton or polyester are the two materials that are used most frequently. Additionally, there are batting blends made of recycled fibers or organic materials, which are suggested for baby quilts.

The good news is that there isn’t really a right or wrong answer because fiber is mostly about personal preference. There are a few things to take into account, though. All battings—including those made of cotton, wool, silk, and bamboo—shrink to some extent; the packaging will indicate how much.

When making a quilt sandwich, you should make it slightly larger than your quilt top because of this.

The most affordable and comfortable option is cotton, and you might be surprised by how heavy it is given its light weight. Due to their breathability and lightweight, wool and silk are excellent materials for summer quilts. Then there is bamboo, which falls somewhere in the middle; it is still permeable but heavier than wool or silk and lighter than cotton.

batting for a quilt

Check the Loft

The loft is merely a formal term for thickness. The lines of your quilting will be more obvious and the quilt will be puffier overall if you choose high-loft batting. If you want to emphasize the piecing rather than the actual quilting lines, low-loft batting produces a flatter finish that is great.

Try Different Brands

Most quilters have one or more favorite batting brands, and they are a devoted group. Go ahead and experiment if you’re a novice, but don’t be afraid to ask more seasoned quilters for advice as well.

Some quilters prefer the soft, crinkled finish that Warm & Natural batting is known to produce after washing, and Dream Green brand is a trustworthy recycled option. Pellon battings are another option; they have a variety of fiber contents and perform well in the washer.

Think About Your Machine

Almost any type of batting that is sold can be used with professional longarm quilting machines. However, if you’re using a home sewing machine, you might find that the lower loft is simpler to work with, particularly if your project is fairly large.

The bulk of large batting cuts combined with a thicker loft can make it difficult to fit your basted quilt through the neck of your machine, which is asking for trouble.

Small quilting projects benefit greatly from the use of fusible batting. It can be ironed into the center of a quilt to temporarily secure it, saving you time from basting.

Choose Scrim for Stability

“Scrim” describes a light layer or grid of woven fibers added to some cotton battings. When quilting, it stabilizes the batting and aids in keeping it together. This can be a helpful safeguard if you’re just getting started or if you prefer a design with wider spacing between quilting lines.

batting for a quilt

Maintaining tight quilting lines will prevent the fibers from separating in the washing machine if you use cotton batting without scrim.

Know Bonding and Bearding

Because bonded batting for the quilts include glue or bonding adhesive, they may become less secure after washing. For your quilt to last over time, this typically calls for tight quilting lines.

Pro Tip: Some battings recommend a certain distance between stitch rows when quilting. Look at your quilting pattern and make use of this knowledge.

Coordinate Colors

The three types of batting are natural, bleached, and black. Typically, you should use natural batting in quilts with a predominance of cream or medium-value colors, bleached batting in quilts with a predominance of dark colors, and black batting in quilts with a predominance of light colors. Any bearding will stay concealed as a result.

Which Batting for the Quilt is the Best?

I wholeheartedly advise you to give these varieties of batting for the quilt a try if you haven’t already. The diversity of the different batting varieties may surprise you.

Best on the Budget

I’d suggest polyester or poly-blend battings if you’re looking for the best affordable batting. They can be purchased from numerous well-known retailers and come in a variety of lofts and sizes.

Best Softness & Drape

Quilter’s Dream Orient is the batting for the quilt that I personally prefer. This batting for the quilt is made of bamboo and is incredibly easy to work with. I adore how cozy and plush quilts are made with this batting, and I adore the fact that they can be dried.

Best for Hand Quilting

Because of how soft it is and how easily the needle can move through the layers, wool batting for the quilt is a favorite among hand quilters.

Best Overall Winner

If I had to pick the “best” batting overall, The 80/20 blend batting, in my opinion. It’s a fantastic option with a lovely drape, but it’s also very expensive! It gives you more options for how you might want to finish your quilt because you are not required to quilt it too densely if you don’t want to.

I would strongly advise trying out some 80/20 blend batting for the quilt if you are new to quilting.

Conclusion: Choose the Right Batting for Your Quilt

Your quilt’s feel and washability will be greatly influenced by the batting you choose. A quilt can feel puffy, flat, heavy, light, warm, or barely there depending on how much batting is used.

I sincerely hope that this article has given you a better understanding of batting for the quilt and given you the courage to choose the right batting for your upcoming project.


What Kind of Batting Should I Use for a Quilt?

Cotton is a great choice for the batting for the quilt, especially if your quilt top and backing are also made from cotton fibers. It is renowned for being cozy, supple, breathable, and simple to work with. When you wash it, it does shrink, giving more dense quilting designs a puckered or crinkly appearance.

Is Batting Necessary for a Quilt?

Batting for the quilt is not needed when making a quilt. Without a middle layer, you can create a quilt by stitching the top and back together. A flannel sheet or quilting cotton are examples of unusual batting that you can select. If you want to cut costs on batting, these might be more affordable choices.

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