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Thread: quilt batting question

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    I am ready to put the layers together of my second quilt ever and I was hoping someone could answer a question for me. I have noticed that on my first quilt (which has a black backing) the batting seams to be feeding itself through the material. I have white strands allover it. A quilter that I know says she doesn't use batting anymore she uses a piece of flannel. This sounds good but I like the puffed look of batting better. Is there anything I can do to the batting or any trick to stop the fibers from coming through.
    This quilt has lots of navy in it so it will really show.

    Melanie :?:

  2. #2
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    Melanie,
    I've not seen that particular problem but I do know you can buy black batting. Maybe that will solve your issue.

    Welcome to the Board from Memphis TN! :D

  3. #3

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    There are different kinds of batting, and some are more likely to "beard" than others. Wool, especially the natural batts you can have made at the mill, are prone to bearding (also called fiber migration). Cotton isn't usually a problem, but the needlepunched cotton is sturdier than traditional cotton, which wads up into little cotton balls inside the quilt.

    Polyester batts come in a thousand brands and styles. A needlepunched poly batt won't beard as much as a "traditional" poly batt (that's what it says on the package - "Traditional".) Glazed or bonded battings are also a good choice. If you are hand quilting, the glaze or bonding makes it slightly more difficult to needle. Not significantly. The label will tell you how closely you have to quilt the batt. That is a good indicator. If you have to quilt it very closely, it is more likely to beard than one that can be quilted less densely.

    As Purplemem said, you can get black batting.

    Using good quality cotton fabric is important. I don't mean to sound like "Quilt Police", but there is a reason for this - the fibers in polyester are sort of hooked - they catch onto each other. A poly-cotton backing and a poly batt, rubbing together, will sort of meld together. I am not saying you used a poly blend fabric - it's just something to keep in mind when shopping.

    Usually, bearding first occurs where the needle punches holes. Change needles very frequently. A sharp, fine needle makes a smaller hole and isn't as likely to push and pull the batting through the hole. This is true for machine and hand quilting. On a queen size quilt, even if I don't break them, I go through at least a package of needles (and I do break another package of them).

    Hope that helps in the future... I know it doesn't do you much good now.

  4. #4

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    Sep 2008
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    Thanks so much for the info. As I said I am a new quilter, but also taught myself from a book. There are just some things a book does not
    tell you. I believe I used better quality fabric for this quilt so I may have
    already eliminated the problem. Sometimes you need a shot in the arm from
    the quilt police.

    Thanks again
    Melanie

  5. #5
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    I have heard that if you spray the "beards" with water, that they will often sort of shrink back inside the quilt as they dry. It's worth a try anyway! Good luck!! :D

  6. #6
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I had that happen with one in particular years ago, with poly batting. I slowly and carefully melted them back with a cigarette lighter. I always buy bonded poly now.

  7. #7
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I use warm & natural and warm & white now, and I don't have that problem. Even after several washings.

    I have noticed that bearding with poly batting.

  8. #8
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I use only warm & natural, or warm & white batting as well. Never have a problem with bearding.

  9. #9

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    Aug 2008
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    When using any dark backing, use a dark batt. Try to get only needle punched batting. That will help stop the bearding. Did you know that you can also dye your batting? Put it in the washer on delicate with a couple boxes of RIT and during the rinse cycle, put in a full container of salt.

  10. #10
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sspingler
    When using any dark backing, use a dark batt. Try to get only needle punched batting. That will help stop the bearding. Did you know that you can also dye your batting? Put it in the washer on delicate with a couple boxes of RIT and during the rinse cycle, put in a full container of salt.
    Oh that is a great idea, must remember that and tell the girls at the sewing club. Thanks for that.

    Elle

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