Quilt batting is a very familiar term for quilters. Though batting is the internal part and is not the most gorgeous part of your quilt, it makes the quilt glamorous, warm, soft and comfortable. That’s why your beautiful quilt top requires the best quilt batting.
In the construction of your quilt, picking a good quilt batting is quite a difficult task. So, in this article, we tried to discuss the features, benefits, pros, and cons of some of our preferred quilt battings and help you to find the best one.
What is a Quilt Batting?
Quilt batting, also known as wadding, is the insulation layer we use between fabrics in quilt making. It is basically used in sewing and quilting projects. Your finished quilts whole appearance, softness, drape, warmth and comfort directly depend on the batting sandwiched in the middle.
Historically quilt makers used natural fibers as batting with warmth as the key consideration. But now they can select from synthetic products as well to meet different purposes. Depending on the material and thickness, you can use them for t-shirts, blankets, wall hangings, microwaves etc.
Best Quilt Battings
There are numerous types of batting available in the market with different thickness, materials, and features. Which one to choose for quilting is a very important decision to make for you. So, we pulled together our recommended quilt battings. Let’s have a look at these battings.
1. Hobbs Batting Heirloom 80/20 Cotton/Poly Queen Size Quilt Batting
Hobbs Batting Heirloom 80/20 Cotton/Poly Queen Size Quilt Batting is a quilt batting which is great for any project. This contains 80% natural cotton and 20% fine polyester. As it is made of cotton mostly, it is very soft and makes quilting easy and comfortable.
This is a medium sized batting which is not too dense not too thin. So, you may quilt wonderfully by hand or machine with this batting as it never pills, fuzzes or shifts.
When you will close quilt with this batting, it will yield a flat low loft appearance. On the other hand, while using more space between stitching lines, it will yield a slightly higher loft.
This quilt batting is punched with a needle and contains a light resin bonding to provide exceptional strength and durability. You can use it for wall hanging applique and other purposes.
There are some problems you may face with this quilt batting. This batting may shrink often. Since it does not adhere well, you may need to use pins or spray adhesive before sewing. Also, this may be a little stiffy for your projects.
2. PREMIUM 100% NATURAL Cotton Batting for Quilts
PREMIUM 100% NATURAL Cotton Batting for Quilts is a fully cotton made batting. For this cotton, it lays flat and stays in place without having to use spray adhesive or tons of pins.
You will not face any problems while hand quilting or machine quilting through it because of its thinness and consistency of thickness through the whole piece.
This batting is machine washable and dryable. Manufacturer recommends you not to pre-shrink the batting by pre-washing as it is pre-washed for saving your time and energy. This will not shift, bunch or separate. So, do not wash before quilting for best results.
This is perfectly weighted for sleeping comfort and because of its lightweight, you can use it for wall hanging, baby quilts, padding for tables, lightweight blankets, t-shirt quilts in all seasons especially in the summertime and humid climate.
Some downsides of this product are it does not contain any resin. Also, if you pre-wash, it may fuzz. So, you must avoid pre-washing. It is stretchy and may sometimes be shredded inside the quilt. As it is thin, you may not find this useful where you need thick batting.
3. Quilter’s Dream Batting- Natural Cotton Request
Quilter’s Dream Batting- Natural Cotton Request is thin and completely made of pure high-grade USA cotton. So, it is very soft and quilts up very beautifully. As it is thin and there is no stiff scrim in this batting for resisting needle, it is excellent for the machine and hand quilting.
As the manufacturer recommends, you do not need to prewash this quilt batting. You can wash and dry this in machine gently after finishing your quilting.
This batting provides you minimal shrinkage. So, it allows you to stitch up to the larger distance apart giving you greater freedom in creative design. It is needle punched which will give you higher strength and quality.
You can use this for baby quilts, ironing board padding, wall hanging etc. Also, you can use this as a heat-resistant pad in microwaves as it has no synthetic materials.
You may face some issues as well. This dream batting may shrink and become small which can be a major issue in larger projects. This may pill and little fluffs of cotton may fall off everywhere. So, it may be a little bit annoying.
4. IZO Home Goods 48 Inch Wide (5 yards) Quilt Batting
IZO Home Goods 48 Inch Wide (5 yards) Quilt Batting is a 100% polyester made batting which is easy to cut. This quilt batting provides the feature of the perfect amount of cushioning and stiffness. It stays where it is placed in quilt perfectly.
You will get this product vacuum-sealed and when you will open, it will fluff up. It does not stretch and it will provide you multiple yards of quilt batting in one continuous piece.
So, you can wrap it around your cushions to protect your cover and soften your foam more. You can use them for padding cornices, quilts, duvets all other upholstery applications, seating, home decor or school projects, fish tank filters, insulating windows, snow displays as well.
This holds water so If you want to use them in places containing water, it would be okay to use under waterproof covering like vinyl. Also, this batting is made of synthetic, it is wise not to use this in the microwave.
There are some drawbacks of this batting. It is not as thick as it is advertised. So, you will have to fold and layer it to make it thicker. As it is compressed while packaging, it is difficult to make it flat and there are wrinkles and bunching making the thickness uneven.
5. Warm Company & Natural Cotton Batting
Warm Company & Natural Cotton Batting is mainly a USA grown cotton made batting. It is punched with hundreds of needles through a thin base material to prevent tearing; shifting; migrating or creeping through the cover fabric. So, it also contains polymer fibers.
As the cotton is needle punched, it is flexible and ideal for both inside and outside projects. Fibers are held together without glue so it will not separate, bunch or beard and you can glide needle easily through the batting.
You do not need to pre-wash this. This quilt batting is machine washable after quilted. It easily dyes and your fabric will cling to the batting while quilting.
This batting does not melt with temperature. It is not fluffy for thickness but is very warm and breathable. It can be used as an exterior fabric, padding for a work table-sized ironing surface, potholers, coasters, mug rugs, table runners etc.
The downsides are it shrinks with moisture. So, when you do a wall hanging you may use a poly bat. Sometimes you may have puffs of cotton batting coming through the stitches. It also stinks a little bit. Though it is thin, it makes for a very dense, stiff quilt and feels heavy.
6. WARM COMPANY (2131) Warm and Natural Cotton Batting
WARM COMPANY (2131) Warm and Natural Cotton Batting is a thin, warm and natural batting. This batting is made of mostly USA grown cotton and a fewer amount of polypropylene used for needle punching the batting.
So, it is strong and will not separate, bunch or beard. It lays very nicely and you will have no problems with pulling off the batting. You can do minimal quilting with this batting quite large distance apart. This will make many projects of quilting and crafting possible.
It is recommended, not to pre-wash the batting because it is pre-shrunk and it may cause the batting to tear or fuzz. You can wash and dry this properly in the machine after you have finished quilting.
The cotton is needle punched and so it is flexible and ideal for both inside and outside projects. Fibers are held together without glue and you can glide needle easily through the batting. So, this batting is very comfortable for the machine and hand quilting.
But you should never use this in a microwave oven. There is Polypropylene scrim that holds the batting together will melt and may be harmful. Also, this quilt batting is not flame resistant. So, it is safe to keep this away from the high-temperature region.
Best Quilt Batting Buying Guide
As quilt batting is the backbone of your quilt, you must buy the perfect one. Carefully consider the factors discussed below before buying a quilt batting for your quilting project
Sector of Use
You must decide first where you want to use the batting and buy accordingly. The choice will be totally different for wall quilting, bed quilting, baby quilting or microwave usage.
Size of Batting
There are so many battings available of numerous kinds of sizes. It can be standard, king, queen, full, twin and crib sized batting. You have to buy depending on your project is large or small.
You have to consider what kind of outlook you want for your quilting. It can be either puffy, thin, fairly flat, low sculptured look, antique look matching your requirement of the project.
You need to carefully decide which kind of material you want for your quilt batting. It may be natural such as cotton, wool, synthetic such as polyester or blend of cotton/poly. Drapability and resiliency depend on the fiber content.
You can quilt either by hand or using a superb quilting machine. So, you must look over the instructions before buying, whether the batting is made for hand quilting or machine quilting or both.
Allowed Quilting Distance
Some products are manufactured in the way that you cannot stitch in much larger distance apart to ensure durability. That is why you have to consider the minimum quilting distance allowed according to your project.
For winter season you will be needing a really warm and thick batting like wool. But if you want to use the batting all year round or in a humid climate, you will have to buy thinner batting which will give you less warmth.
Shrinkage and Washing Method
Some battings shrink much after washing. This will create difficulty for you in quilting. Also, some battings like wool made battings are not machine washable. So, you have to consider this carefully before buying.
When you consider price, polyester is the least expensive followed by cotton and wool batting is the most expensive. You have to buy according to your budget.
The loft is the measurement of weight and thickness of batting. Low loft refers to thin batting and high loft refers to thick batting. You have to choose low loft batting for flatter appearance of wall hangings, placemats and high loft batting for the fluffier quilt.
Modern battings are made in many ways to increase strength and durability. Normally they are constructed in two ways
Here the fibers of the batting are bonded together by either thermal or resin method.
Here loose fibers are punched into scrim by a machine that has millions of needles.
Type of Quilt Batting
Which quilt batting is best for you? It totally depends on the type you require for your project. Some types of quilt batting are discussed below
Cotton batting is the most popular batting for its softness and comfort. Cotton is natural fiber which gives the batting light and breathable texture. This batting is good for baby quilting and you can use a 100% cotton batting in the microwave.
Polyester batting is popular for bedding and cribs. Though it is a synthetic material, it is favored as it holds its shape and thickness very well. It is lighter in weight. It drapes better and less expensive than other battings.
But some downsides are it is thicker and non-breathable. You can not use this in the microwave.
Cotton/poly blend batting introduces both best features of cotton and polyester. This is mostly made of cotton which makes it breathable and soft, whereas the fewer amount of polyester makes it a little more loft.
Wool battings are natural options for quilters. This is a lightweight, warm and lofty batting which holds its shape well and is resistant to creases. It is breathable than polyester batting. This batting is the thickest of all. But it is quite expensive.
Bamboo batting is a very gentle and eco-friendly batting. It’s an excellent batting for machine quilting. This is made of half cotton and half bamboo. So, this is breathable. But the problem is it shrinks slightly after washing. It has the lightest loft.
Fusible batting contains a fusible webbing so you can baste your baking, quilt top, and batting layers together easily.
Silk batting is a natural batting which is made of mainly silkworm cocoon and a fewer amount of polyester. This batting is a recent addition in the market and quite expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are some questions that come to your mind often confuse you. We will discuss some common frequently asked questions to make your confusions clear.
Does quilt batting need to be prewashed before using?
No. It is wise to wash after finishing quilting.
Can polyester batting be microwaved?
No, it is harmful as polyester is synthetic.
Can I use quilt batting for potholders?
You can use three-layered cotton batting for potholders. But polyester batting cannot be used in this purpose as it cannot block heat.
Can I iron cotton quilt batting?
Yes, but it is better to use another cloth between batting and iron. It will be far better if you use the dryer method instead.
Does wool batting shrinks after washing?
No, it has minimal shrinkage.
How do I remove wrinkles from batting?
First make the batting flat with hand and tumble it in the dryer with no heat for about 10 minutes.
How to learn the easiest way of using quilting batting?
Find some books on quilting, you will get a lot of quilting ideas and how to use quilt batting as well.
Choosing from so many nearly similar options of quilt batting may be a complex task for you. Also, selecting the perfect one is very important to meet your expectations of comfort, softness, warmth, and appearance of the quilt.
So, know about different quilt battings and find out the best quilt batting from our recommended list by going through the pros and cons and features of the products.