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Thread: Bearding - what happened?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sheri.a's Avatar
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    Angry Bearding - what happened?

    I just finished a very very time consuming quilt. I also made a wheelchair lap quilt for charity and used it to test quilting designs, thread tension, etc.

    I used RJR Cotton Supreme (black -- main background) and RJR Jenny Beyer fabric for the fabrics, Aurifil thread, and Hobbs Tuscany wool batting. All of these except the Cotton Supreme (where the problem is most pronounced or most obviously seen) have been used with success in the past.

    I saw some bearding when quilting, but thought it was wool migrating from the edge of the quilt where the batting was still unfinished. The quilt is now finished, I used lint roller, packaged it in a plastic bag and it's ready for a show.

    I then bound the wheelchair quilt and washed it prior to taking it to my church to be donated to a nursing home. I washed and laid it out to dry -- I saw some lint, but didn't pay too much attention. After it dried, I started using the lint roller. This quilt looked like an old man -- the bearding was horrid. I can't donate since this will happen every time washed. I'm sick about the King size quilt I spent so much time on.

    When I try to understand why this happened, it's not clear - fabric? batting? What can I do in the future to prevent this? I'm thinking I'm going to make a mini quilt and wash it just to check for bearding. Sigh.....
    ( `v )
    `.. ♥
    ..) .*) Sheri in Texas
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    a stitch in time saves nine.....

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    I use Warm & Natural. I had bearding once. I put the lumpy side with the little bits of seeds in it, down on the quilt backing wrong side. I've made sure that hasn't happened again. I don't use wool batting so don't know if your batting is the problem.

    This website gives an interesting explanation. http://quiltersdreambatting.blogspot...-quilting.html
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  3. #3
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    Very interesting. Haven't had this problem - yet, so this is good to know.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  4. #4
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    I would really like to see pictures of this situation.....?

  5. #5
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    So very sorry this happened to you! After all the hours you've put into the quilt, it is heartbreaking when something like this happens. Hopefully the suggestion of the anti-static spray helps.

    I've used the RJR Cotton Supreme numerous times along with RJR Jinny Beyer fabrics and never had a bearding problem. I usually use Warm and Plush, or sometimes Pellon Nature's Touch 100% Cotton, so very different from the wool that you've chosen. I'm not a prewasher of fabric or batting, and I usually use Aurifil 50wt or Connecting Threads' Essential Cotton.

    Hopefully someone can help with a solution for you. The anti-static spray from the link Barb in Louisiana sounds cheap and promising!

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I love wool, but admit it does seem to beard a little more than cotton/poly. You didn't say what kind of thread you used, but I find that using a poly thread, like SoFine or Glide, seems to reduce the bearding. Also, I like a thinner thread and a smaller needle. Also, I always use a black bat (yes, wool does come in black but you have to really look for it; or use a Quilters Dream black poly that quilts much like a wool)if the quilt is a dark color.

  7. #7
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    A dull needle will cause bearding (with any batting), since the dull tip pushes the batting ahead of it instead of piercing through. I change machine needles with each large quilt.

  8. #8
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    If you use Schmetz needles, try using the microtex needle. Yes, a dull needle will cause bearding.

  9. #9
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    I believe the black fabric plus wool batting is your problem. I am hand quilting a quilt that has thin strips of black throughout, and it's a real pain in the neck, because the wool batting coming through the black fabric is getting entwined in my quilting thread, and stopping to pull it out is really slowing me down.

    I don't know why wool tends to beard through dark fabric, but this is not the first time I've heard of it. I will never again use wool batting in a quilt with black or very dark fabric (I used Quilter's Dream wool, so apparently the brand isn't the issue).

    I plan to finish my quilt, which is small, and then suggest that it be used as a wall hanging.
    Lisa

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe'smom View Post
    I believe the black fabric plus wool batting is your problem. I am hand quilting a quilt that has thin strips of black throughout, and it's a real pain in the neck, because the wool batting coming through the black fabric is getting entwined in my quilting thread, and stopping to pull it out is really slowing me down.

    I don't know why wool tends to beard through dark fabric, but this is not the first time I've heard of it. I will never again use wool batting in a quilt with black or very dark fabric (I used Quilter's Dream wool, so apparently the brand isn't the issue).

    I plan to finish my quilt, which is small, and then suggest that it be used as a wall hanging.

    I am hand quilting a 96 square quilt that I used Quilter's Dream WOOL batting on. I am having a ton of bearding all over the quilt. The wool is so easy to hand quit through but don't know what to do about the bearding.

    Marcia

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    When did you purchase the batting? I saw postings on a longarm group that Hobbs had a problem with an entire batch of their wool batting, and I think it was their Tuscany wool. However, the problem was quite a few months ago. I suppose some of that bad batch could still be sitting on a store shelf somewhere. In any case, I think you should contact Hobbs and include photos.

    Regarding Quilter's Dream wool, a QB board member had significant problems with it awhile ago and I see mention of this problem crop up in a post once in awhile.

    sails, I would be interested to know if using Static Guard on your quilt helps. All of the bearding problems I have seen in the past related to machine quilting, not hand quilting, so I was surprised to see it can be a problem when hand quilting too.

  12. #12
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    Sheri,

    Hello! My name is Stephanie Hackney and Im the director of sales and marketing for Hobbs Bonded Fibers, makers of Hobbs Batting.

    Im sorry youre experiencing an issue with your quilt.

    To start, there are generally three causes of bearding:
    1. The needle was not new and sharp - even a tiny burr in a needle can create havoc. We recommend using a new needle every time you start a new quilt, and periodically check your needle while quilting to make sure the needle is still in good shape.
    2. The needle was too large - this creates holes that are larger than they should be and can allow the batting to be pulled through the fabric.
    3. The thread tension was too tight, creating extra space in the thread holes through which the batting appears.

    Additionally, using a low threadcount fabric can result in bearding, but we assume most experienced quilters use good quality quilting fabrics ($12/yard or higher is generally a good gauge).

    Its rarely the batting that causes the bearding issue unless a very low quality batting is used.

    If you can send us pictures of your quilt where the bearding has occurred, or better yet, if youre willing to send us the quilt (we vow to take good care of it and return it safely), wed be happy to examine the bearding to see if we can determine the cause.

    You can reach me at shackney at hoobsbondedfibers dot com or by phone at 254 301 3039 (Please Note: Im traveling internationally for business right now and am 7 hours ahead of central time).

    Thank you for purchasing our batting - I look forward to assisting you.

    Have a great day,
    Stephanie

  13. #13
    Super Member givio's Avatar
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    Stephanie and all,

    My grandmother was a very experience quilter, and a good one. She used often used low thread count muslins and feedsacks. She also used wool batting. Her quilts didn't have bearding problems at all. She did not machine quilt. Your suggestions regarding blunt needles and tension seem a more reasonable explanation to me.

    Regarding the suggestion to use spritzing with anti-cling products because of static and 5-sided molecules-- it sounds like a possible scientific solution, but not one that would work with my bearded quilts. The fibers are not laying on the quilt due to static like dog hair would. They are attached inside the quilts and coming through the fabric to the outside (high quality fabric) and, incidentally, not only through the holes made by the machine quilting.

  14. #14
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    I think the issue with the static is that potentially the batting fibers are clinging to the fabric fibers and as the fabric fibers shift and move, the batting fibers cling and move with it and could move between the holes in the fabric enough to show on the quilt top. We all know quilting is quite the exhausting process and there is a lot of movement, and the same with washing a quilt.

    OP, if you try the anti-static spray or try washing again with a dryer sheet in the dryer, I'd be curious to know if you have any resolution. Certainly hope that you do. I've never used a wool batt but I know many board members love it.

    Is the bearding where the quilting holes are? Is it all over the fabric? The suggestions regarding blunt needles and tension would make sense if it's just where the stitching is, but if it's coming through all over the fabric, I wouldn't think it applies there.

    eta: I dry my quilts with a dryer sheet and haven't had any problems, but again, I have never used a wool batt. Just cotton.

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