Last Saturday I was privileged to attend a lecture presented by Hobbs Bonded Fibers. Although the company produces products for many applications, the lecture was about the history of batting and their company. That was very interesting, but so was the question and answer session. We received a folder with their batting samples and descriptions -- very helpful to actually be able to touch it and see the thickness.
I learned that 80/20 is their best batting seller. I also learned that Connecting Threads is a major customer of theirs, as I had brought the batting page from the recent catalog as a reference. I asked about Harriet Hargraves's current role with the company, since I knew that she was instrumental in the development of batting for machine quilting beginning in the early 1990's. I found out that she still operates in an advisory capacity, but does not have an active role with them.
Although the company purchases some raw materials overseas (such as wool from New Zealand), they do not outsource any of their work. The speaker proudly told me that they had received estimates for making their pillow covers in China, but declined even though it would have been a cost savings.
I asked about pesticides in their batting, since we know that quilting fabric is treated. They said they do not apply pesticides to their batting, and that most of the pesticides used in the plants (such as cotton), is washed out in their manufacturing process.
The issue of eco-friendliness was discussed. The speaker said that although bamboo is desired by many consumers, the manufacturing process to get that fiber soft is very harsh. They also sell organic cotton batts.
After the presentation I visited the website and found information about their charity batting program. Here is the link: http://www.hobbsbatting.com/resource...arity-program/. I think that the discount could be very beneficial for those of us doing charity quilting, especially if you live in Texas where the shipping wouldn't be prohibitive. (Hobbs is headquartered in Waco).