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Thread: Batting driving me Batty

  1. #1
    Image00's Avatar
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    I am new at this whole quilting thing and am wondering how I go about choosing a good batting? Does it need to be 100% cotton? If so, why? Is a blend better? What is meant by "bonded" or punched? In advance, thank you, for your help. :roll:

  2. #2
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I may not be much help but here goes... It depends on how you will be quilting and what look you are wanting for the quilt and how it will be used . If you want as fluffy look, then polyester is what you want. A smother look cotton. But with cotton if you don't wash/ dry ahead of time it will shrink and give your quilt a wrinkled look. I am sure will give you more info, but this will get you started :wink:

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    The bonded or punched as you call it is manufactured so that it is more durable. Typically you can quilt further apart with these.
    When you read labels, they talk about loft, distance between quilting, content, shrinkage.
    Like sharon said, a lot depends on the look you are going for. Also, the closer you have to quilt, the drape changes and the quilt can become "stiffer" feeling. That is another consideration.

  4. #4
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Image00
    I am new at this whole quilting thing and am wondering how I go about choosing a good batting? Does it need to be 100% cotton? If so, why? Is a blend better? What is meant by "bonded" or punched? In advance, thank you, for your help. :roll:
    Battings come down pretty much to personal choice. A lot depends on how you want the finished quilt to look and feel, and how you want it to drape.

    Bonded batts have a surface treatment designed to prevent "bearding". Bearding can be a problem with polyester batts, especially with dark fabrics. The batting fibers migrate through the fabric. Once bearding starts, there's nothing you can do about it. Cotton battings don't beard, but they give a different look.

    Needle-punched battings are more stable and relatively flat. I believe it's only cotton that is needle-punched. Quilter's Dream is a 100% cotton batting that is needle-punched. Warm n Natural is a cotton batting that is needle-punched through a scrim (thin layer of fabric). This is the most stable batting type and does not need to be closely quilted to stay in place (up to about 8" apart). I haven't used WnN in a long time, so it may have improved, but I thought that the needle-punching through scrim caused the batting to not drape as well as I like and to be slightly more stiff. WnN can be a very good choice for wall hangings because of its stability, but it will quilt up with a much flatter look than a polyester batting.

    Polyester battings that are machine quilted will have a more contemporary look. The quilting lines will be more clearly defined. People in recent years have gotten used to the commercial "comforter" look of fluffiness and high loft. This look can be achieved only with polyester batting; cotton is much flatter.

    Cotton battings that are machine quilted will have a softer look after they are washed because the cotton will shrink a little. All of the vintage quilts so many of us admire were made with 100% cotton batting. This is my favorite batting to use (Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon) because of its soft look after washing; even the feel of it becomes softer with every washing.

    However, old-fashioned 100% cotton battings like MMBR can be harder to hand quilt; the MMBR tends to be "stickier" so it is harder to push the needle through. For hand quilting 100% cotton, the Quilter's Dream line of needlepunched cotton is much easier.

    High loft battings tend to be harder to quilt -- especially to machine quilt. The highest loft batting I would use is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 (80% cotton/20% polyester). It gives a fluffy effect but is still easy to hand or machine quilt.

    Wool batting is supposed to be very nice and easy to hand quilt. The older wool batts tended to beard badly. The newer bonded wool batts are supposed to not have that problem anymore. I'm allergic to wool, so I've never tried working with a wool batting.

    As I said, it's a very personal choice. I like MMBR because the older quilts I have used it in have worn very well and become very soft over time, plus I like the crinkled vintage look. For a fluffier look, I would use Hobbs Heirloom 80/20. If I were hand quilting, I would not use MMBR again but instead would use either something from the Quilter's Dream line or the Hobbs 80/20.

  5. #5
    Image00's Avatar
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    :-D Your info is appreciated soooooooo much, I am beginning to understand better. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Image00's Avatar
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    :-D, Thanks!!

  7. #7
    Image00's Avatar
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    :-D, Thanks!!

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    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Great descriptions! I'm bookmarking this thread. There's a lot of great knowledge that people share here!

    Image, if you use the "search" feature on the board and put in "batting" you'll come up with other threads on the batting topic. I'm finding that a great resource when I have a question about a particular topic. I'm starting to use it more and more.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    lots of great info here!! Thanks!

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