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Thread: Why is it recommended to only use 100% cotton fabric?

  1. #1
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    Why is it recommended to only use 100% cotton fabric?

    My aunt and everyone else I know that has told me about quilting has always said "make sure you get 100% cotton fabric." I am planning a 'scrappy' type quilt for my niece and she said she wants it to be really soft and warm on the underside. Is flannel completely out of the question for a backing? Also, what if I find a cute fabric in flannel for some of the top piecing? She is 7 years old and is requesting several different prints and colors (pink, green, blue, yellow, bunnies, kitties, puppies, peace signs, soccer balls, hearts, butterflies, cheerleaders, etc etc etc) So, that's why I thought a scrappy style quilt would be best. Anyway, I just wondered why I wouldn't be able to use a flannel backing. THANKS!

    Candace

  2. #2
    Super Member bookworm's Avatar
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    A few things to ponder:

    1. I believe a lot of flannel is 100% cotton
    2. I back some of my quilts with fleece and have no problems. Some people on this board back with flannel with no problems.
    3. The reason for the "recommendation" is for even shrinkage. That pretty much it.
    4. Our ancestors used various types of fabrics and the quilts held up fine.... washing may be a challenge though.

    and.....

    5. Its your project. If you want to use flannel for any part go for it! There are no "rules" when making quilts for yourself and loved ones.

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    Thanks! I'm still learning these things. I so appreciate your input! I am going to look for a flannel back... gotta make the niece happy! LOL

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    Super Member bookworm's Avatar
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    Glad to help

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Flannel works well in lots of quilts and is often 100% cotton. Just be aware that flannel usually shrinks a lot more than other cotton fabrics. Unless you are planning on a great deal of quilting, it's a good idea to pre-shrink flannel before using it in a quilt. I like to run it through the washer and dryer twice, and I don't pre-wash other cottons.

    It is also a good idea to heavily starch flannel after pre-washing. Starch adds a lot of stability so that pieces don't distort with handling (and so the backing doesn't distort while you are quilting). Flannel is much stretchier than other cotton fabrics if it is not starched.

    In general, cotton fabrics are easier to handle than polyesters. Polyester fabrics tend to be slippery, making accurate cutting and piecing more difficult. They also tend to ravel more than cotton.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dotha's Avatar
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    Flannel is great for a backing...but preshrink. Friends of mine have used the Minkee too but that scares me to sew as it is slippery. My friend has had no problem with it though.

    100% cotton just pieces really nice. It is easier to 'scootch' (also known as ease). I have used a little bit of polyester blend a few times where it was the only fitting color like for a face or a frame. It just does not handle or sew into pieces as nicely as 100% cotton.
    Dot in Oregon

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    I use blended fabrics a lot because i like the shine and colors they do tend to be slick and require a little more handling but they make beautiful quilts. I like every thing i sleep in to be soft also i would let her pick out what she wants or you pick out what she want and don't worry about it.

  8. #8
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    Just be sure to prewash the flannel because it will shrink a lot, so be sure to purchase enough.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  9. #9
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    Thanks all for the great suggestions. I've been fabric shopping on ebay... they seem to have the best prices for the novelty kids prints I'm looking for!

    Candace

  10. #10
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    Don't just purchase the cheap flannel though, if flannels the route you're going. You get what you pay for with flannel. You may want to look for the quilter's flannel if you're going to JoAnns.

    You can feel the difference if you going to the stores.
    Go forth and sew!

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